Today, with the influx of all sort of positive and negative information strolling around our uncensored and unsieved environment, learning, perception, and conclusions are free in the most unadulterated ways. We are privileged to have access to information even on our fingertips, just as information is also disseminated voluntarily. We may not be able to control information but we can determine interpretation by carefully speaking about information in its fullness, not just to suit a narrative but to achieve clear understanding.
We will agree that the CHILD today is innocent of the information he/she is being made to have and the society is unapologetic about this. Hence, there is a dire need for Parents to act as an active channel of communication to the child; This is true of the “Two-Step Flow” theory of communication. The two-step flow theory in this context states that ” Parents should put themselves in a position to be the first source of information for the Child, how they understand it and interpret the message.
However, we must understand what communication is in itself.
Communication is a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information, news, ideas, and feelings but also create and share meaning. In true sense, communication is a concept that has overtime generated several meanings. In this context, we would look at Communication as a “transfer of understanding” in which parents serve as the Sender and Receiver.
From the school environment to time spent with friends, and even at home, the child is confronted with various kinds of verbal and non-verbal communication that the child inculcates. This is not necessarily a challenge to parents, although it represents a wake-up call for parents to take up more responsibility by becoming a friend to the child.
Parents are however advised to be the NEWS, TOWN CRIER, DISCIPLINARIAN, TUTOR, MENTOR, and CONFIDANT of the child.
In addition, information on habits, how to behave, the latest trend(positive or negative), reasons for going to school, alternatives to going to school, Music, Sports, Sex Education, etc. All these are all but a few on what information parents should elaborate to children.
Another very important part of communicating to children is parents should speak with one voice. In developing a child, one must be careful not to confuse the child. Parents should talk about issues of interest, think about it and make consultation before speaking to the child.
Why parents should communicate with their children
- To create closeness and trust
- To help build their confidence
- To understand them even better
- To encourage positive character and chastise negativity
- To make them understand the message
Lastly, parents should endeavor to achieve effective communication because the home is the first learning ground for every child.