Different ways to communicate with children

Learn about: Different ways to communicate with children from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...
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Different ways to communicate with children

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Communication is really one of the major parts of how we let our children know who they are. Because parenting is really about what? It´s about building a relationship. And if you want it to be, it can be a lifelong relationship. And many parents don´t really think about that, that you start the relationship when children are really young because then that relationship you have something to build on. And you are like a scribe. You let them know who they are by the kinds of things that you say to them, by the ways that you act towards them. And also remember all of your facial expressions are communication. The tone of your voice is communication. The guestures are communication. And children, young children, are taking all of that in, mostly from the right brain because that´s how they are perceiving life. So if you tell them maybe they have done something and you are getting cross and angry and they say are you mad mommy, and you go no, I am not mad. Now, they don´t believe you, right? You have given a communication that really wasn´t true, so that´s confusing. It´s like how do they make sense out of it because one of the things that we do in our communication is we help children make sense of their own experiences. And they want to know what´s happening and what´s happening to them. And so, communication is best when it makes a connection to where the child is and that of course requires that the parent do what first? That they listen to the child and that they give the child back themselves.

Learn about: Different ways to communicate with children from Mary Hartzell, MEd,...

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Mary Hartzell, MEd

Author & Parent Educator

Mary Hartzell has over 30 years experience working with children, parents and teachers. She is the director of The First Presbyterian Nursery School, a nationally recognized early childhood program in Santa Monica, California. She is co-author of Parenting from the Inside Out and also has created a series of CDs on Parent/Child Relationships. Her parent education classes and her private consulting practice have benefited hundreds of families.

Mary began her career teaching in the public school system and completed her master’s degree in early childhood education and psychology at the University of California in Los Angeles. She taught in the early childhood unit at the UCLA Lab School and supervised student teachers. 

Mary is the mother of three grown children and has four grandchildren. During the years she was raising her own children she taught in the gifted program of the Los Angeles Unified Schools, primarily in South Central L.A. For the past 20 years Mary has been a workshop presenter at national, state and local conferences of the National Association of the Education of Young Children. She has been a lecturer at UCLA extension and is adjunct faculty at Santa Monica Community College in their early childhood department. She also provides workshops, teacher education and consulting with schools throughout the United States.

Mary has served as president of the North Bay Chapter of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Vice President of the Association of the Child Development Specialists. She was the recipient of the first Pediatric Aids Foundation’s “Hero’s Award” for her work with children and parents.

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