One of the main shift in paradigm for me after becoming a parent is to truly understand the importance of not talking too much to a young child.
I was under the impression that I will need to “teach” many things to my child and tell them all about their world and surroundings. It is such a common thing in our society when talking to very young persons is to ask about what is their favourite, ask them to name an object or colour and mostly sentences will start is the word “What”.
What is your favourite colour?
What is your favourite animal?
What would you like to eat?
What would you like? This? or That?
This is usually how we adults think to engage in a conversation with kids.
My husband and I don’t do that anymore. It was not an easy habit to break but after understanding how questions can actually stress and pressure a young child’s development, we simply cannot continue as “normal”. The normal in our household now is to listen and observe more. We comment and ask much less. Ever since we’ve become conscience of this, we have noticed a significant change in the overall energy in our environment. It is much more peaceful and the day goes by with more harmony.
Some days, I get commented on the gentle and calmness of our little boys’ dispositions. Our society’s expectation of the behaviour of boys is usually loud, physical and rambunctious to name a few. As if gentleness and calm are something so rarely “natural” in children (especially boys) and that we must have won the lottery (twice!). Most people are in awe at how observant and engaging they are.
Since I usually do not talk about parenting unless when asked, I just make a mental note to myself that I know I have found one of the secrets to parenting that will result in overall serenity:
In speaking less to your child, they will blossom (even more) before your eyes.
I’m sure I will be writing more on this topic…