Sunday, January 20, 2013

"How to Speak Kid"

 Photo by AlaMODE Photography in San Diego

These are my little guys. They're the ones I spend my time enjoying, loving, crying over, and hiding from. Parenting can be tough - it's a lot of pressure to raise a happy, well-adjusted child, and stay sane while doing it. One thing that makes parenting 3000 times easier is good communication. I feel lucky that I've had lots of practice talking to kids, and now it's something that comes really easily to me, and I'd love to share some tips and tricks. 

Tomorrow I'm starting a series of posts called, "How to Speak Kid," and they'll revolve around communication with your kids. How to speak to your kids so that they'll (hopefully) listen, do what you're asking, and grow up to be pretty cool little people.

I don't claim to be a parenting expert, but I did want to give you a little bit of background so that you know where I'm coming from. The emphasis of my Bachelor's degree was Child Development, and after college, I taught preschool for several years. I taught full-time, which meant that I had 4 different classes every year - each with 20-25 kids. So throughout the week, I would interact with roughly 100 kids ages 3-5. And I did this for about 3 years, meaning I dealt with about 300 preschool-aged kids, day in and day out. Yes, they'd go home to their parents after 3 hours, but I still had to figure out what made them tick, so that I could get them to sit and listen to stories, pick up toys, and play nicely with the other kids on the playground. After my preschool teaching days, I went back to school and got my credentials in Elementary Ed. and Special Ed., and began my teaching career as an elementary Resource teacher. I'm now in my fifth year of working with kids with mild to moderate disabilities, from learning disabilities to emotional disturbances. And in the middle of that career, I took a break to have 3 kids in the space of 4 years, and enjoy about 5 years as a stay-at-home mom. I'm now back at work, and constantly participating in Professional Growth opportunities that help me to understand and better relate to kids.

I've known some amazing kids. And I've known some really, REALLY challenging ones. Not every trick works for every kid, and not all the tips I share will feel natural to you. But hopefully throughout the series, you'll read something that will work for you, or that you can keep in the back of your mind for a future situation. I'd love to hear your thoughts, and have conversations with my readers about what works for YOU. So check back tomorrow - I'll link to the post from here tomorrow (I'll be guest blogging), and post it here later this week!

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