Thanks to productive communication class from Ibu Profesional, now I am aware that communication is not about what you say but also how you say it. Since then, I began to really pay attention to my verbal as well as non-verbal aspects whenever I communicate. Even though sometimes I slips here and there, but hey, that's learning, right?
I do think that implementing productive communication is very important, especially within a family. A family with a good communication raises a happy family member. I remember one quote that I love from Rumi:
Raise your words, not your voice. It's the rain that grows flower, not thunder.
As the quote above, words are powerful. A mom holds an important role in creating a civilisation. I want to create a good childhood memories to my child, in a hope that my kids will grow happy and later can raise happy families themselves.
How It Start
The starting point is from a course that I join - Bunda Sayang Class in Ibu Profesional Institute. Basically the class is about how to empower woman to be a better self/wife/mother. The whole Bunda Sayang course consists of 12 levels. In each level, the course material was given and later the students are asked to do a 10 days challenge based on the course theme. The challenge is to implement the course material. The very first level is about productive communication. So, I had to practice productive communication and document its story every day. I chose to write my challenge stories in this blog.
In the course material, there are basic principles of productive communication that can be applied to spouse and to children. On the very first day of the trial, I thought that I can only apply those aspects to my husband as I think my child (a 7 month old infant) is still to young to comprehend this :D So, I did my first trial of productive communication to my husband.
As I share my challenge story, I also read other moms' challenge story that involves their young kids. Then I wonder, can I also implement them to my baby? There it goes, from the second day onward I practice productive communication to her.
Indeed it was not easy to implement at the beginning. Firstly, because I was not really sure that my baby gets what I tried to communicate. Second, it requires lots and lots of patience (which in my case, it often run out quickly. Haha!). Third, it is another challenge to document it - to write the process down consistently every day for 10 consecutive days.
What I Learned
Applying productive communication for 10 days has taught me valuable lessons:
- Infant can understand
Surprise surprise! My baby gets it! She (seems to) understands what I tried to communicate with her. Applying several aspects in productive communication do improve the quality of my communication as well as the likelihood of getting a desirable outcomes.
2. Communicate consciously
After learning about productive communication, I began to communicate consciously. No more talking from afar, no talking while walking by, no talking while staring to the phone, or saying an ambiguous sentences. I begin to consciously maintaining eye contact while talking, choose good timing, control my emotions before talking, showing empathy, and so on. Applying all these methods does makes me feel better. I feel emotionally closer to my daughter and my husband.
3. Different communication method leads to different output
Even after the 10 days challenge over, the productive communication practices still carry on. During the implementation, there are so many trial and error. Especially if the object is an 8-month-old infant who couldn't utter their response verbally. However, there is one thing that I observe: different communication method does lead to different output.
For example: talking in a friendly tones with eye contact usually makes my baby less fussy and (seems to) understand me better.
I made a journal of every practice, as a reminder and also as a 'progress report' of what I have been doing based on the basic principles of productive communication. To summarise, here are my stories of productive communication that I have been implementing to my husband as well as to my baby.
- Day 1: Good timing
- Day 2: Observation and Friendly Tones
- Day 3: Keeping It Short and Simple (KISS)
- Day 4: Clear compliments
- Day 5: Eye contact
- Day 6: Say no to don't
- Day 7: You can do it!
- Day 8: Controlling emotions
- Day 9: Showing empathy
- Day 10: Do not don't me
Based on my 10 days productive communication challenge, here is the checklist [^1] of communication aspects that I have experimented on. The most left column is the list of communication aspects and followed by the days of the challenge. I give the tick marks to the aspects that I have implemented during the day. One day may cover more than one communication aspects. However, at the end, there are several communication aspects that I still need to try on.
[^1] The checklist is modified based on the checklist provided by Bunda Sayang Class at Institut Ibu Profesional.