Communicating with children is not only one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child, but it also plays a major role in developing the personality of your child. This article will to help you learn certain communication tips that could enhance your relationship with your child.
Be available for your children
Notice the times when your children are most likely to talk. For example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car, etc.
Start conversations with activities they are involved in and let it not all be about school or studies. Children will know that you care about what is happening in their lives.
Schedule a couple of hours during the weekend for some fun activity with the whole family. It enables each member to chat and be relaxed.
Make time to spend individually with each child atleast once a week.
Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.
Let your kids know you're listening
When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen or if it is not convenient ensure you address those concerns as soon as possible.
Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive.
Listen to their point of view, even if it is difficult to hear.
Let them complete their point before you respond.
Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.
Respond in a way your children will hear
Soften strong reactions. Children will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive. Or they may hide their true feelings if they sense that those feelings upset you.
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."
Focus on your child's feelings rather than your own during your conversation.
Key points to remember
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 in solving a problem.
Children learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems, and work through difficult feelings.
Talk to your children. Avoid lecturing, criticizing, threatening, or saying hurtful things.
Children learn from making their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, avoid stepping in or interfering.
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.
Building and maintaining a good bond with your children can be challenging, especially since parents are dealing with many other pressures. But making the effort to build healthy communication pattern with your child is one of the most important and rewarding skills that you can develop as a parent. It also makes the tough parts of parenting (such as disciplining your child) much easier and more effective as love and control needs to be in balanced proportions.