THE BENEFITS OF ‘I – MESSAGES’

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It is natural in relationships with our children on some occasions what they do or say something which we feel strongly positive – appreciation, happiness, delight, or pleasure. In these times it’s helpful to share with your children how you are feeling. There is one effective way of conveying how you are feeling. It is positive I-messages. It’s an alternative form of praising.

Using positive I-messages by parents is a way of expressing your feelings, expectations, concerns, and your appreciation to your children in the most acceptable way that doesn’t cause any discomfort to them.

It conveys what’s going on inside you.

I feel proud when I see you complete homework quickly.

I enjoyed so much when I saw you playing in school today

I’m pleased when you got the scooter repaired last night.

I-messages communicate about parents’ feelings; it’s our positive response’s that evokes a feel-good factor in children about their behavior and their skills. It works as a verbal quick fix to connect with parents.

I-messages help parents get an idea about their inner feelings when communicated to the children. 

I-messages convey to a child to see in their parents’ communication, an honest and genuine concern to encourage and appreciate their efforts.

There are two important benefits of I-messages that come out of communication between a parent and child.

A child begins to think about working on his own, increases trust and a sense of connection with the parents.

This small talk which is non-evaluative, non-judgmental provides children the opportunity for a small increment of self-esteem, self-awareness – towards self-responsibility, towards being less dependent on the parent, and he attempts to solve his problems. 

I-messages are a ‘change communication agent’ to convey our pride, appreciation, our warm concern, our genuine love to our children. They would be our true feelings not intending to control them or influence them, but it carries an element of ‘feel good bonus’ to children. 

Parents need to learn that being transparent in a relationship with the child fosters honesty and intimacy and openness – which form the foundation to any human relationship.

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