Adults are busy people. They leave for work early in the morning and return home in the evening. Of course, caring for a child is an important part of their thoughts: to feed well, if necessary, to cure, provide clothes and everything necessary, follow up on homework. But why does it often turn out that, it would seem, all these points are observed, and the child seems to be completely out of hand? The problem is that children are a reflection of the parental attitude towards them, as well as the relationship between the parents themselves, says Julia Gippenreiter. Her book, Communicating with a Child, is about this. How?»

about the author

The name of Yulia Borisovna Gippenreiter is known in Russian psychology: she is a professor at Moscow State University. Her books on parenting have resonated with a particularly wide range of readers, not only because of her fundamental knowledge in this area, which she can clearly convey to others, but also because the author herself is a mother: she has three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Therefore, “Communicate with the child. How?» is also valuable in that Gippenreiter gives examples from the experience of his own extended family.

Parents make rules for their children and try to follow them. If the rules are not respected, adults are offended, scold the child or come up with punishments. Julia Gippenreiter pays close attention not only to the causes of such problems, but also analyzes the effectiveness of such parental decisions. In any case, she considers the most important skills not at all the ability to masterfully invent punishments, but a simple dialogue with her little man. The emphasis in her book is on what to say to a child and how to listen well.

The book is divided into small chapters that make reading easy and structured. The text is accompanied by illustrations, intelligible images, which makes the material understandable for a reader of any level, even if a person is new to psychology, not only child psychology. In addition, there are exercises at the end of each chapter that you can try on your students.

Listen and hear

The most important skill that runs like a red thread through the entire book by Yu. B. Gippenreiter “Communicate with a child. How?» This is what is called active listening. In fact, children themselves can tell adults a lot of things. But whether an adult can competently use this information depends on him. This is where this skill comes in handy. Let’s take a quick look at what it is.

Backfill questions

Many people think that asking questions is not respectable. Especially from a parent. After all, a parent is an adult. He must know everything. And here it turns out that he himself asks questions and works as a “why?”. Yes, and in communication with the child. Where is it seen?

However, Gippenreiter argues that it is possible and necessary to ask children questions. By doing so, you will show him or her that you are involved in what they tell you, that you are in a good way worried and empathetic.

Forget criticism

In an effort to immediately give the child the key to solving the problem that he talks about, adults often immediately start looking for his own mistakes in what happened. Naturally, this comes from the best of intentions, but is it really necessary?

Let’s imagine a situation: your son came home and tells how “their wicked school math” is. Mom immediately rushes at him with a question: “What have you done again?” The father declares: “Here again you are pretending to be a poor victim! What are you, a scumbag?!» You can also add grandparents to this story.

Thus, the child finds himself in an unpleasant situation when his closest and most authoritative adults are all at once against him.

Of course, he really may be to blame, but don’t you yourself have conflict situations at work when your boss pisses you off? But he, too, may be right.

Shared experience

We all sometimes need simple human support.

“But if this mathematician quit, it would be easier for everyone!” — the boy exclaims in his hearts. Naturally, you are an adult. You can understand that this very «mathematician» is a good teacher, and it is unlikely that she will quit at the behest of your son’s soul. But no one bothers you to dream a little about it with him. Discuss how it would be if this fleeting desire really came true. And perhaps, by chance, throw a couple of adult diplomatic tips on how to resolve a conflict situation in reality.

Look at the root

This is the main purpose of active listening — to identify the real needs of your child. The problem is that as we get older, we forget what it’s like to be small. We have a lot of new and, of course, important goals and ambitions. In fact, the root of everything is the desire for recognition from loved ones, love, and therefore self-respect. And you can provide all this to children with the help of your support.

8 hugs a day

Here Gippenreiter refers to the well-known psychologist Virginia Satir, who claims that any person needs about four hugs a day just to survive. And for good health — eight. Therefore, hug your child more often.

Of course, Gippenreiter’s book will be especially useful for parents of school-age children who can already have an active dialogue. But many readers claim that they have found use for many of the life hacks from Communicate with a Child and with their three-year-olds. The advice from there will never become outdated, and the book itself will come in handy for you more than once: you can periodically return to it — for example, when your child is going through his first age-related crises.

Moms and dads can hone the tips in this book on each other—because they’re versatile and suitable not only for improving understanding with the little ones, but also with those in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s.

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