The way we talk to children isn’t something we often think about, but it is very important. We should all remember that when we were children, the things that older people said to us had a profound impact on the way we viewed ourselves and the world. This is why it is extremely important to be mindful of not only what we say to children, but the way that we say it.
Compliments are one of the most important things to be mindful of when talking to children. This is much easier said than done. When first meeting children, it is almost a reflex to comment on how cute and adorable they are, especially with little girls. While these compliments are completely harmless, they can have an adverse effect on the children. Being showered in physical compliments can cause the child to define themselves by their looks and obsess over them as they get older. In addition, this can lead to the child developing self-esteem issues. This is not to say that we should never compliment them on their looks, as being comfortable with your physical appearance is very important. But we should intersperse these physical compliments with less tangible ones. Next time you encounter a small child, try asking them about one of their hobbies, or what types of books they like to read. Often times, this will prompt the child to talk your ear off about their various passions. These conversations can serve to further stimulate the child’s mind, and encourage them to continue with their hobbies.
Children are very durable little people. As soon as they learn to walk they are incredibly hard to keep track of, and trying to do so will result in the need of a long nap. However, in spite of all their accolades for physical toughness, they are very emotionally fragile. This is because they are very young and have yet to experience some of the more somber emotions. This is why the subject of death is a very hard one to approach for even the most seasoned of parents. Also, the way we praise and discipline children must be done with the utmost of care. Saying one little thing the wrong way can lead to years of the child having a bad impression of themselves. I am not a parent, nor am I trying to tell people how to raise their kids. I am purely speaking from experience with kids and observation. In regards to discipline, I feel that it is very important to let the child know exactly what they did wrong, and why it was wrong. Giving them the reason allows them to properly assess the situation.
Children are interesting little people. They can fall from the top of a jungle gym and be perfectly fine, but begin to cry at the smallest of occurrences. As adults, the way we interact and converse with them is a large part of how the child comes to view the world. So if we want the young generation to develop into proper stable adults, it is important for us to be mindful of the way we talk to them.