Parenthood. It’s the worlds scariest ride.
How do you ensure that your child develops their communication skills and learns good manners at the same time?
First time Dad and AIMN contributor Matt Rae offers a few ideas.
We often get asked questions like, ‘when did he start talking?’, ‘when did he start having conversations?’ etc. Truth is, he has been having conversations with us since he was one and half.
Some people are astonished at his pronunciation, and his already developed understanding of English. No, I don’t think my kid is a genius. Although, I don’t think he is a dummy either.
The reason he has developed rather quickly in this way is because we actually engage with him. I don’t just mean a ‘yeah ok, whatever’ kind of thing either. I find a lot of parents that seem to think children are best seen, but not heard. We did attend a play group a year or so ago, and my wife has been to a mother’s group in the past too. We found most, if not all the parents, would rather be drinking their coffee’s and talking about some boring adult G rated bullshit.
Sure, I also love my coffee, and my adult conversation. But I’ve been having those for years, and will have many more to come.
At these groups, and in general, I often see this situation. The kids are off doing kid things, and when they approach the ‘adult table’, they are met with one word answers, or a frustrated parent getting out of their seat to get a drink or something to eat for the child.
I am no saint, I’m also guilty of doing this at times.
However, we have taught our little boy to come over to us and if someone is talking, he places his hand on the shoulder or arm of the person he wishes to address, and waits for the speaking to stop.
He will then announce his intent. He is met will full eye contact, and total focus, like any other human would expect when they are speaking to someone.
He is also met with a meaningful conversation in return. If he does not understand something, it is explained.
The adults can wait. Adults are used to waiting.
My point is, that what you get out of your child is what you put in.
We devote time both together, and one on one with him to play, actually play. Engage with him, draw, paint, read, or just, talk.
It is hard at times, and I would rather be doing something else sometimes too. But, you indeed see the results for your efforts in time.
Right now, our little guy is 3 and half. He has just been signed up for pre-school this year. We took him in the other day. The teachers went over what would be learnt. Numbers, alphabet, colours etc, which he already knows well. He has even began writing.
I am proud to say he can write his name, my name, mum, and dad.
He can also write a few other beauty’s:
Hehe…. got to have a little fun right?
I may be winging it through fatherhood most of, if not all the time. I do know however, that you should treat your toddler like any other human. Not just a 2ft tall nuisance, even though at times, he or she might be exactly that. 🙂