Parenting Connection: Teaching children appropriate language

Parenting Connection

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Teaching children appropriate language

This doesn’t just mean removing bad words from their vocabulary but ultimately helping our kids communicate correctly in many situations. For example, how they speak to a teacher versus a coach — or how they get information from a doctor versus mom and dad.

Child development expert Kylie Rymanowicz with the Michigan State University extension office says, being able to communicate with others effectively is necessary for academic and life success. She says teaching your kids appropriate language to use for various circumstances with different environments, individuals, and situations will help a child in many ways, like with social awareness and relationship skills.

“Language is different in a different context, so the way I speak to my boss at work or my doctor is different than the way I talk to my friends. So, helping them to learn the appropriate language for the situations they are in. For example, what are the routines at school – when students ask a question they raise their hand and that’s appropriate for school, but at the dinner table at home I can just say, hey dad, I have a question.”

Here are a few simple ways to start teaching appropriate language to your kids:

*Set language boundaries at home. This means you have rules on bad words, yelling, or not talking over someone else.

*Be clear with your rules and consequences for breaking them.

*Be a good role model. Remember that your kids are constantly watching and copying you — so in order for your language rules to be effective, you must also obey them.

*Be aware of what they’re seeing on television and other forms of media. It takes but just a moment for a bad habit to form.

According to Rymanowicz, teaching your child appropriate language is vital in their development of becoming a respectful citizen, friend, and great family member too.

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