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What is "communication"?

Child Communication Basics

Jayne Major, Ph.D. (Parenting Educator & Child Custody Consultant, Breakthrough Parenting Services, Inc. ) gives expert video advice on: What is "communication"?; How does my communication affect my child?; How do I communicate with my baby that can't talk? and more...

What is "communication"?

When people are truly communicating then there is a tone of respect in the communication. That is a true communication, When people are not communicating well, there is a tone of disrespect. If you want to build co-operation in your relationships - in any relationship - especially with children, there has the be respect. And I teach people that the communication of "I'm talking now and you're listening" and then vice-versa when we trade, is that there is a listening component to what is - I call it receptively listening - to what the person is saying to you. And when you're communicating, instead of commands and questions, if you're communicating in statement sentences, you're going to be clear because a statement is a fact. A fact is the truth. It's very hard to argue with the truth, isn't it? So, if in your basic communication you're telling the truth and you do that with statements then you're going to be understood - you will be clear. Especially with your children. You do this in your adult life all the time; use that same technique with your children. You listen to them and they listen to you. You use statement sentences with them and they use statement sentences back and that way you're going to be solving problems together.

How does my communication affect my child?

One of the curious things about communication is that we attract what we project. And if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed one day and I'm irritable and I start treating my children with this irritation, communicating this irritation, guess what I get back from them? You attract what you project. And pretty soon you're in power struggles and you can't get out the door on time, and they won't eat their breakfast, and it's one thing after another. But if I wake up cheerful and happy, I communicate cheerful and happy, so I attract cheerful and happy. What a lot of parents don't realize is that their moods are communicated to children, children are like sponges and they will gravitate to whatever mood you're putting out there. So if a parent primarily is disrespectful of children guess what? You will have very disrespectful children back. You attract what you project, so the outcome is very much determined by your behaviour.