Understanding Child psychology: You don’t need a degree in parenting to better understand your child’s psychology. The simple things such as what your child likes or dislikes, what makes them laugh or cry, and what motivates them or causes them unhappiness; can all give you a good picture of how your child’s psychology is developing. When you don’t understand your children, you can end up making poor parenting decisions. To be there fully for your child, here are a few basic child psychology tips to help you be the best parent to your children:
1. Understanding child psychology: spend quality time together
It can be difficult to make time for family when you are busy juggling parenting with work, managing a household, and other commitments and adult responsibilities, but putting time aside to spend exclusively with your kids is very important for their development
Chatting over the dinner table or in the car is simply not enough to understanding child psychology. You need to dedicate time to spend together where you play and talk together, without any other distractions. Find out what they want to do, whether it’s a simple thing like playing a game or listening to some music of their choice; and spend at least an hour doing the activity together.
You should follow their lead and let them decide how the activity should be conducted. This is especially important with younger children; when they get their toys out, let them lead play and be the supporting character in their imaginative play.
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2. Assess Your Child’s Environment
A child’s environment plays a large part in their brain development. Your child’s behavior is also shaped by the kind of people they spend time around. Make sure you have built a safe and interactive environment for your children. Introduce lots of books and learning posters to their room, and lead by example by reading books too. Ensure that you don’t just read books on a device but in real life too, so that children can observe and emulate behavior.
3. Listen To Your Kids Stories
Let your kids fully express themselves and share their stories with you to help you in understanding child psychology. As children may not always be able to express themselves very well; give them lots of time to say what they want without you interrupting or prompting them. Pay attention to non-verbal clues too, such as how they use their hands and the emotions they display.
Not only should you listen, but also let your child know that they are being heard and taken seriously. Acknowledge what they say and respond to let them know that you understand what they say. If you don’t understand, ask questions for clarity. But be careful not to talk too much or ask too many questions, as that can shut your kid off completely.
4. Ask Open Questions
We’ve all asked our kids: ‘How was school today?’ and received a one-word answer. If you want your child to tell you more about something, then try asking open questions that are more specific. For example, instead of asking how was school, you could ask any of the following:
- What did you enjoy most at school today?
- What did you learn about (insert subject e.g. science, math, history) today?
- Was there anything that made you happy/unhappy today?
- Instead of asking who they played with, ask them ‘what games did you play?’
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