Every parent knows the undertaking of communication with your child can be a slow process of huge milestones. First, you start with the verbal, tiny screams of an infant, the cute cries of helplessness that tug at your heart-strings. And in a state of confusion you try to understand what your child is telling you. To any new parents out there, they usually they need to be held, fed, or changed. And when you are successful, you’ll think, whew! At least I understood that.
Then as your child’s vocal cords grow, so do the bellows, but the meanings of their communication stays the same, only louder, a lot louder.
Through the baby years, your child’s realization of their environment increases and so do their demands. Now there are grunts and finger-pointing that accompany the cries, both of these make it easier to determine what you child wants. The addition of the non-verbal cues really do help. Then comes the cooing, sweet spit bubbles and small words like “mama” and “dada.” This is when it starts to get fun. Your child is communicating that they do recognize you and by doing so, they are now formally thanking you for all you have been doing for them for the last year or so. You’re welcome!
Next, the non-verbal communication and babbling turns into full-fledged talking. Yay! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, your toddler can finally talk and the things that they are ready to say are awesome. But, once the talking starts there is no stopping it and it becomes a constant companion to your child’s personality. Although you will never have a quiet moment again, the good news is, kids are funny if you let them say what they want.
The last task of completing the communication trinity is writing. Once that is introduced they are now able to communicate without speaking. Which needs a lot of verbal explanation! It first starts with drawing and then they begin to add words into the mix. Now things get really amusing and in addition, you now have crayon inspired evidence. More fun! And because children begin writing phonetically, and we all know how tricky the English language can be, things are not always as simple they appear.
At this point your child now has a pocket full of resources to use while communicating, verbal, non-verbal and writing, and they know how use or not use each one of them to get their point across. And when the day comes, when you are given a hand written note you need to approach each word carefully, repeating and rereading, just to make sure you are reading what you think you are reading. And while you are in a state of communication confusion, not again, they know exactly what they are saying.
Azul, my six year-old, spoke not a word to me as he held up his hand written sign. I looked at it trying to figure out what it was saying and then I carefully read it aloud.
“Attic … something” is where I started, his non-verbal communication told me I was wrong, so I slowly tried again, sounding much like a baby babbling random sounds.
“Attack. Now?” I said with some hesitation.
Then he threw down the sign and did as he was told. HE ATTACKED ME!
As every parent knows the undertaking of communication with your child can be a slow process of huge milestones, and then sometimes you just get attacked.
Azul spent quite a bit of energy being mad at me this afternoon. He is actually very good at going to his room when he gets mad, and that’s where it started. Soon he ventured out of his quiet place, with his brow furrowed and his bottom lip hanging out, grabbed his orange Crayon and a piece of paper and asked, “How do you spell ‘do not disturb?'” So, I started with “do” and he wrote it and said, “Can you write the rest?” I asked, “You want me to write the sign, kicking me out of your room?” His answer with a smile was “Oh yeah,” grabbing his crayon, “What’s next?” I spelled it out and he finished writing his formal announcement of banishment and marched back to his room. He came back out again, this time asking, “Can I have a piece of tape, please?” I gave him the tape and he continued his work and closed the door. I wondered how long this will last.