Dialogue at Home

21st Century Skills – The 6 Cs

The “21st century skills” dimensions, that in this NPDL (New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning) context are the six Cs, are permanently contemplated in the implementation of our curricula. During the school year 2018 – 2019 we decided to focus on Communication as a common thread that helps us coordinate actions in a consistent and sustained manner throughout our school community. In this sense, we consider communication, taking into account the student’s voice, from a perspective of what we have called Academic Dialogue that strengthens learning as a social interaction, but also from the viewpoint of family dialogue or Dialogue at Home..

Dialogue at Home Campaign

We share some tips (recommendations) through our Dialogue at Home campaign supporting dynamics to strengthen the bond of parents with their children.

The School has been working throughout the school year 2018 – 2019 on the importance of communication, both pedagogically and in other developmentally appropriate environments. Strengthening these communication skills at home has direct repercussions on class dynamics, favoring increasingly deeper learning.

The family is the fundamental axis on which human beings are built. Although communicating seems like an easy task, your children’s school life are the years in which communication generates its greatest impact because it is clear that if dialogue does not exist as a tool within relationships from early childhood, it becomes more complex when adolescence arrives.

It is important to remember that communication is a way to strengthen the bonds of trust and affection between parents and children, without which learning opportunities are wasted. Dialogue at home helps children feel safe and recognized, the most direct way to transmit values and beliefs.

We want to highlight the most relevant aspects from the Dialogue at Home Campaign Tips. Remember that your children’s lives are constantly transforming, each and every day, and that if there are no lines of communication in place about their world, we will not be able to know, let alone understand, their emotions, desires, ideas, interests, fears and attachments.

  • Speaking, listening and understanding have to be three fundamental pillars to make family dialogue a daily affair.
  • Conversation takes into account “the other,” so it is important to listen and recognize your children as interlocutors, agents of experience, and the proper subjects of relationships.
  • Your disposition and time are important. Children need parents willing to talk.
  • Refocusing and redirecting your children’s questions back to them can be a tool to build critical thinking and self-reflection.
  • Communication should be an exchange of experiences and feelings, not a questionnaire or an interrogation.

We hope that good communication will continue to be the fundamental vehicle that narrates the relationships between parents and children so that they learn that language is the most valuable tool to resolve situations now and always.

1. Listening and talking

Listening and talking is the key to a healthy connection between you and your children. But parenting is hard work and maintaining a good connection with children can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. If you are having problems over an extended period of time, you might want to make an appointment with the counselor of your child’s academic section.

2. Find the best time

The best time to ask them about their day may not be right when they walk in the door from school or when other siblings are around. You may need to be observant and even experiment to find the time of day when your child is the most responsive.

3. Turn off technology

Turn off technology especially when they are talking to you. Instagram can wait while they tell you about their test in 2nd period. Your children need to know they are more important than Pinterest.

4. Be available

Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk – for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car – and be available.

5. Start the conversation

Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what’s happening in their lives.

6. Share one-on-one activities

Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child and avoid scheduling other activities during that time.

7. Show interest

Learn about your children’s interests – for example, favorite music and activities – and show interest in them.

8. Share your thoughts

Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.

9. Listen to concerns

When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen.

10. Respect their point of view

Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive. Listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to hear.

11. Let them know you understand

Let them complete their point before you respond. Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.

12. Soften reactions

Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.

13. Acknowledge disagreements

Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree. Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, “I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think.”

14. Focus on your child’s feelings

Focus on your child’s feelings rather than your own during your conversation.

15. Help your kids tell the story

Focus on the story your child is trying to tell you. Help him with questions such as: Who was there? What did they say? What happened next? These help your child feel heard and show you are interested in the whole story.

16. Ask about their needs

Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings or help solving a problem.

17. Kids learn by imitating

Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems and work through difficult feelings.

18. Avoid criticism

Talk to your children – don’t lecture, criticize, threaten or say hurtful things. Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don’t feel you have to step in.

19. Encourage them to talk

Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk and they may share the rest of the story.