You don’t have to be Supermum to communicate with your kids

Besides wearing your underpants over your jeans is not a good look! 🙂

It can be flipping exhausting to keep repeating yourself all day long and frustrating when you feel as if nobody is listening.

Do you feel like a broken record?  Wouldn’t it be lovely if they would do it your way?

It would be and it is.  93% of how you communicate with your kids is your body language.  By simply being aware of how you act around your kids, you can easily guide them to what you want them to do.  Show them, don’t tell them!

Even when you think they are not looking, kids watch everything you do

As a Nanny I was privileged to observe and gain fascinating insights into how clever kids really are.  Picture this scene from a particularly stressful part of the day:  Teatime.  A tired and hungry 3 year old whinging and pushing a chair up to the cupboard so he can help himself to ‘biss-its’ (that’s biscuits to you and me).  Request getting louder as the 5 minute pasta – that’s what it says on the packet is on it’s 6th minute and I’m willing it to cook a bit quicker.

‘All this noise hurts my ears!’

The teething baby pipes up in with a nice ear piercing scream and grabs at my legs to be picked up.  Throw into the mix a small dog getting under my feet, pining to go out in the garden, their Mum kindly reminding me how much pasta to cook and a washing machine beeping to let me know it needs attention too.  There you have it – the terrible racket of teatime!  There I was in the middle of it all with my hands over my ears, pained expression on my face saying ‘All this noise hurts my ears’.

I’m a human-being not a robot

One particular teatime, when all this chaos was too much, I snapped and shouted at the dog.  It was then I heard a little voice: ‘All this noise hurts my ears.’  I had to laugh.  Clever little man.  I turned around and there he was hands over his ears, pained expression on his face.  The best bit though was that he followed it up with ‘It’s not kind to shout.  Shouting is not kind.  We don’t shout!’  Hands on hips, disapproving face.   I wonder where he could have possibly got that from?!  The chaos was soon dissolved by some very welcomed giggling and hugging.

I want to be like you

Remembering that your kids have a built in radar amongst the stress of every day life isn’t always easy.  They are a mirror of what you say and do.  If you want to know what you look like to your kids, look at the way they are behaving.  Ironically, they are probably irritating you!

I know you don’t want to be monitoring everything you do on top of everything else.   Although it can be easier when you realise that all loving and giving things you do for them every day (like tucking them into bed at night, reading them a story and giving them a hug) has already taught them so much.

Actions speak louder than words

Here is a poem that highlights some of the lovely things Mums do to teach their kids how to live right.  Best part: there’s no telling off or lecturing involved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw you hang up my first painting on the wall
I wanted to paint another one
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw you smile at my new friend
I wanted to be kind to people too
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw you make my favourite dinner when I’d failed a test
I found out supporting people is important
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw you count to ten when you got really mad
I learnt to control my anger so others don’t get hurt
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I felt you kiss me goodnight
I felt loved
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I saw you look at me with pride
I wanted to be everything that I could be
 
When you thought I wasn’t looking
I did look….
Thank you for all the things I saw that have taught me how to live
 
Poem credit ©  S.K.I.P (Strategies with Kids New Zealand  Image credits © www.SquiggleMum.com © www.centralvalleymoms.com

Comments

  1. A lovely description of how kids are the world’s great imitators. I remember particularly when mine were little that if I made a major effort to be composed, calm, super-smiley… they caught on. If I was in a foul mood they were pretty clever at getting the body (and face) language.

    • Thank you Lisa. It can be cute too. Watching them do role play games and mimick other people. I used to like playing libraries so I could be in charge and boss everybody around! LOL
      My neice is 6 and she’s taken to hair flicking. Before she says something deeply profound, she will lick her lips, flick her hair off her shoulders and say ‘Do you know what?’. She looks exactly like my sister when she does it and it really makes me laugh.

  2. My kids are grown up and seldom at home nowadays –  but it’s good to be reminded of the need to be very careful what you say in the presence of young children – lest it be repeated in a public place or at a formal family gathering……..
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  3. Lovely poem Lisa, not come across that before.

    I never realised I paced as I spoke on the phone until my eldest daughter made her first phone call… and her dad said “awww, how cute! she paces just like you…”
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    • The poem comes from New Zealand where they run government courses to support parents. There is a wholehost of material for kids of any age. It’s brilliant
      I’m a pacer too! It’s a good look 🙂

  4. Lisa – what a fab article & so, so true! I so often hear my 6yo girl saying something to her 4yo brother that literally could have come straight out of my mouth. I absolutely love the poem too and will be reminding myself of that the next time I’m counting to 10 in my head 😉
    Jo x

    • Thanks for your comment Jo. I’m glad you liked the post. You’re good if you count to 10, sometimes it doesn’t happen that way for me 🙂 x

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