Hesperian Health Guides
Chapter 4: Communicating with children
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People are happier and healthier when they feel listened to and understood. This includes children. When your baby cries and you respond, he feels loved and secure, and he learns his communication can make something happen.
As children get older, we watch and listen to them, explain things, answer their questions, and comfort them. We can also help them understand and express their own ideas, needs, and feelings, and understand ours or those of another person. When we help children communicate — express themselves and understand others — their health, growth, learning, and cooperation will all be better.
Communication can also help children cope with illness and taking medicines, with the loss of a parent, or with unfair treatment because of stigma. Communication is one way we help children know they matter, gain understanding when difficult things happen, and feel less alone.