Speak Your Message In Many Ways
Parents' Advent: December 9
As a youth living in Paris, we welcomed an American and a French teen to dinner one night. My siblings and I were translating for our guests. One of the cracked a joke, so instead of translating, we laughed. “What did he say?” inquired the American. “Qu’est ce qu’il a dit? asked the French. (It means, “What did he say?”) We roared with laughter to their growing displeasure. Each demanded a translation or “What did he say?” and “Qu’est ce qu’il a dit?” They did not change words, just the volume. We still could not hear them for laughing so loudly.
If the message isn’t getting across, say it differently.
Phrase It Anew
Do your kids respond, “WHAT?” to “I love you.” Try, “Daaaaahling, you are so precious to me.”
Repeating the message with different words is a classical technique in multi-cultural contexts. Are you feeling the generation gap too? Our children are from another culture! Teach them to use this technique on you too. After all, who really understands, “Whatever, Dad"?
Try A Different Love Language
Chores need to be done and calling out her name is not generating the desired response. Is she sensitive to touch? Go to her, give her a 30 second shoulder massage, and tell her it’s time for the chores. She responds better to gifts? Write her a note and fold it up into a paper airplane to remind her dishes are waiting and need to be done quick as air mail. She loves shared moments. “Honey, while you put the dishes in the dishwasher, I’ll ____ (choose from your looooooong list) in the kitchen with you.” You come up with the ideas for affirmation and acts of service or learn more about love languages. It’s fascinating and effective.
Captivate Additional Senses
The spoken word barely touches the concept of communication, yet we parents often limit ourselves to it. That why Home Is Fun developed the Power Pointers pictures. For some, seeing is believing.
Maybe your child needs to touch it to understand it. One mother walked into her child’s room, tied a string to his bed, and walked out unrolling the string. He got up and followed her! (Pied Piper or Wacky Mother. Either way, it’s worth discovering.)
Learn About Christmas in Many Ways
- Watch The
Very First Noel or It’s
a Wonderful Life together
- Go see a Christmas Pageant. Google churches in your neighbourhood and find out which one has a pageant this weekend.
- Sing Christmas carols. Try Jamaican rhythms for added spice.
- Read a Christmas story. Discover our favorites below.
- Let your imagination roll…and tell us about it.