Learning, Nigeria

Classic Parenting : How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen & Listen So Your  Kids Will Talk


The manner in which  we talk to our kids plays a very  prominent role  on their learning and ability to listen to us. Its important to know that we are constantly  modelling to our kids on  how to act and behave, and the way we engage with them fits right into this category.


 The way we speak to them and others is showing them how we want them to respond to us. Its interesting to know that there are three major different communication style  that is  being used by parents when  talking  with their kids, no matter  the social economic class of such  parents.  


Aggressive Communication Style

These are the type of  parents  that shout on their kids a lot, put their kids down and use attacking words.  This style bring out the worst in young children and the children respond in many different ways, mainly by acting out more, feeling fearful, yelling back and ignoring their parents’ orders. 


Passive communication  Style

 These are the type of parents who are easy on their wards and engage with their children by muttering soft, cautious words and tones, and at the end of the day  their kids often walk all over them. Unfortunately, these parents are so passive that sometimes when they are pushed to their limits, they suddenly change their tone into an aggressive one. 


 Assertiveness Communication Style

This is by far the most effective way to interact with kids at all levels. Assertive communication style  is firm, consistent, clear, positive, warm and confident. Assertively communicating with children is a real skill, yet it clearly demonstrate to  kids that   parent know what they’re talking about and to listen. 

The following are  top tips for improving the way we talk to our kids and listen so they too can talk :



Helping Children Deal with their  Feelings.


Children need to have their feelings accepted and respected. 

  • Acknowledge their feelings with a word.
Instead of asking too many questions



Acknowledging children feeling with a word
  • Give the feeling a name.
Instead of denying the feeling


Give the feeling a name
  • Give the child his wishes in fantasy 
Instead of Logic


Give the child his wishes in fantasy
  • Listen quietly and attentively.


Instead of half listening

Giving and listening with total attention to any request or clarification the child want to get from the parent goes a long way in child development.

paying attention to the children when asking or seeking clarification from parent

All feeling from the children can be accepted, however certain action must be limited.


2. Engaging Cooperation with the children


What most parents do :

  • Name-call
  • Threaten.  
  • Lecture  
  • Compare


The best approach is to describe what you see or describe the problems that the children can learn from the experience.


  • Say it with a word


  • Describe what you feel
Talk about your feeling
  • Give Information
Give Information
  • Write a note (sing a song?!)
Write a note

3.   Encouraging Autonomy


• Toddlers and teenagers aren’t that different….

  • Show respect for a child’s struggle
  •     Let children make choices
  • Encourage children to use sources outside the home
  • Don’t ask too many questions
  • Don’t rush to answer questions
  • Don’t take away hope


Show respect for child struggles


Don’t take away hope



Encourage children to use sources outside the home


Don’t ask too many questions
Don’t take away hope


3.   Praise and Self-Esteem


  •  Describe what you see.
  • Describe what you feel.
  • Sum up the child’s praise-worthy behavior with a word.
Descriptive praise


Sum it up with a word
Let all parents and guardians make deliberate effort to foster strong bond, relationship and communication skills by talking with their r kids as much as they can.
Lets all remember that engaging  with kids is a two-way street. Talk with them and listen to what they have to say in return ; listening is just as important as talking.
Feel free to lets us know any other strategies you think can be explore to engage with out kids in the comments section.


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