Communicating with your child
Four, going on Fourteen?
Sometimes you may find that asking lots of questions about your child's day elicits a somewhat unsatisfactory response:
"What did you do at Paul's this afternoon?"
"What did you play?"
"What sort of games."
Blank stare. Or worse...a big sigh, accompanied by an exasperated look. You wonder if you've leapt forward in time Quantum Leap style and your four year old is now fourteen.
What's this all about?
Don't panic, it's not premature adolescence! Sometimes it's simply that your child isn't able to be any more specific: either because they don't remember, or because they can't quite find the words to express themselves. Of course, from time to time it may just be that they don't really feel like talking!
How should you handle it?
It's really important not to get irritated or angry if your child is being less than forthcoming on a particular subject. You're not likely to get a response by pushing it; in fact they are more likely to clam up altogether. Often it's best just to move on and do something else. If you are concerned, you can always return to the subject a little later.
Play & pretend
Over my years at Perform, I've found the Yes or No Game really useful in helping children to develop their vocabulary and communication skills - why not have a go at home?