Are you talking with your child on a daily basis?
Today’s question is to create awareness around the opportunities for parent-child conversation in your home. Whether it’s eye-to-eye or shoulder-to-shoulder (on a walk, in the car,) talking with your kids is vital to creating a connection and doing our job as parents.
Why does this matter?
1. The brain is built by an interactive process known as serve and return because it is very much like a game of tennis or volleyball. A child begins with a gesture or sound – the “serve” – and you respond with the “return.” When parents respond sensitively, a child is surrounded by positive serve and return exchanges which are the building blocks of a healthy brain. (AHS- Our Brains Apple Magazine, 2013)
2. In the first 8 years of development, our children need to have eye-to-eye conversations so that they can watch us and learn how to move their mouths properly (speech-therapy referrals are increasing).
3. Older children need this connection because they have lots going on and need to talk about it with someone. If they are not talking with you, they are likely talking with their peers. Their peers may not be able to share the values that you would want to share. Peers also may have expertise in all sorts of things that you would rather your child did not learn.
This week, take a look at what’s happening in your family.
Are you making space for conversation?
Are there times when the devices are off and you are talking with your child?
Is it happening in the car, at the dinner table?
If you don’t like what you see, get rid of the guilt and change the behaviour. Find ways to set your family up for success, by creating small, intentional spaces for conversation and connection.