This week, I was preparing an assignment for university when someone commented how I wrote differently for my blogs than my academic work, when my focus and desire are different. This started me thinking…….
There are many theories about preferred learning styles .. Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic etc.
If the way we prefer to process information is different, perhaps the way we choose to share information is also different? I talk and gesticulate … I am great verbally, and using apps on my phone .. but writing or expressing myself through writing is MUCH harder.
As parents we talk with our children, but dependent at what stage our children are at in their development, articulating their thoughts isn’t always the best way for them to express themselves. With a toddler who can’t talk, we interpret and communicate via actions, often with a positive mind set … With teenagers we see some of their actions as being rebellious or awkward. Perhaps these are just other forms of communication?
So no matter what the age, perhaps we should try other forms of communication. If a child looks down we ask ‘ you okay? Or what’s up? This closed question gets a short curt answer.. Asking a five, seven or nine year old to draw how they feel or what kind of a mood they are in could offer a different approach, which may, in some cases be a better form of communicating
Other ways of communicating include getting teenagers to play music reflecting feelings … But only for 5 mins!!!…….. There is only SO much JLS or Black Sabbath a parent can take!!
Having a text a day from a child or regularly using texts to communicate is common place. It is a bit impersonal, but that could make it easier for a child to open up or tell you those important snippets of information that allow you to access their thoughts.
As a mentor in schools, I work with children who have problems because they have communication issues. If we, as parents, try and communicate using different approaches hopefully our children develop the ability to express themselves without being self conscious, which in turn will give them the confidence to effectively communicate with the wider world.
Effective communication is a skill we all need to develop and pass on to our children.