A child’s voice is often the sweetest of melodies, beautifully innocent, inquisitive, full of wonder and new ideas. The process of sharing these ideas is imperative to the relationships they develop, and the formation of their identity, and the personality that they begin to form.
When a child feels comfortable that their voice is being heard, this helps the child build their confidence that they are able to contribute to the world around them which is essential to their emerging sense of agency.
Lately, I have been giving thought to the many aspects of a child’s voice; diagnostically their actual voice and the potential clues this may show us. To therapeutically, helping children find their voice when they are shy or mute, and to helping parents slow down to really hear their child. The art of communication exchange and benefit extends so much further than a simple conversation, from the wise words of A.A. Milne’s, Winnie-the-Pooh, “It makes such a difference … to have someone who believes in you.” Stated so simply, but by taking the time to listen may be one small step in helping a child feel that their most important people believe in them, delight in them, and value their input.
In reading about a child’s “voice”, I consistently read about how a caregiver’s mindset helps in effectively communicating with children. I thought I would share a few examples of these mindsets below:
· To keep in mind that their perspective of the world is as valuable as yours.
· That adults and children alike are able to learn from one-another.
· Joining children for connection through play, may be more effective than expecting that they will come to you.
For all the important little people in your world, I wonder how are you able to really hear what they have to say – all that is spoken and also unspoken?