There are many little things I love about my kids, I like how each one of them has a unique personality that is completely different from their brothers, and how you absolutely cannot predict what each of them will say at any given time!
I have Sa’ad, who astonishes me everytime he talks about something that is completely beyond his age, and he does it out of common sense rather than repeating something he heard. Then I have Meshal, this boy asks so many weird yet amazing questions, I sometimes have to google them just to find an answer! (Something like: Mama, do astronauts wear underwear?… I had no idea!) Then, there is Hamad, a little fireball that has a raspy voice and says the funniest things ALL THE TIME!
What amazes me most is how well they speak and articulate their questions, even at this very young age. It amazes me so much to the point of making me sad that many other kids I talk to cannot express themselves the way they would like to; and I know why.
I see a lot of mothers that do not communicate with their kids at all, either being busy on the phone or with their friends, or not even there at all. If there is one thing I learned raising 3 kids its that they need to know you are there when they need you, especially when they are discovering their world.
What could you be doing wrong with your kids:
- Lack of communication: You could be spending all day with your child physically, but mentally you are somewhere else. Kids need to see their parents talking to learn how to speak, and once parents talk to their kids they need to speak properly, not in baby language.
- Not answering questions: I probably say that ALL the time; answer the question! Kids ask so many questions for a reason, just like letting them explore the world around them physically, their minds need to let loose and explore the world. I hate the chain “but why?” question as much as any mother, but it is crucial to your child’s development. Don’t be afraid to explain complicated questions too, you can never know how smart your child is and they could be learning something they’ll love when they grow up. An example is when my 4 year old son asked me why the sea water is blue but water from the bottle is clear (yes, they ask smart questions!), I delved into the many theories behind the sea hue, ranging from how the water reflects the colour of the sky, to the properties of colour and how the water filters the light so that red is absorbed and some blue is reflected. You’d think it’s too much for a 4 year old, but you never know what he’s taking from it.
- Don’t dumb it down: I don’t understand why some mother’s talk to their kids like they are developmentally challenged, or just plain stupid. Use the correct words, not a substitute that you assume your kids will be able to pronounce. They might not get it the first few times, but eventually they’ll get it and surprise you when they use it in the correct context.
- Challenge their vocabulary: The best game I play with my kids is “I spy…” while driving, it keeps them engaged (a.k.a. not fighting or throwing a tantrum), trains their observation skills, and you can see them come up with so many words for things they see that start with a letter you choose.
Talk to your kids, don’t finish their sentences, and don’t tell them they are wrong; a child is entitled to an opinion just like you are. If your child thinks an elephant is green, tell them you think they are grey, but it would be exciting to see a green elephant! Let them enjoy their imagination, they’ll be serious before you know it!