Effective communication between kids and parents is critical, and it isn’t always easy. Adults and children have different communication styles and different methods of reacting in a discussion. When it comes to communicating with anyone timing and atmosphere will play a major role in its success. As a parent you should take time from your day to talk with your children in a quiet, unrushed manner.
Successful Communication Tips
- Active listening is essential when communicating with your children. Pay attention, don’t interrupt, reserve judgment until your child has finished speaking and has asked for a response, and don’t prepare your responce while your child is still speaking.
- Watching your child as they talk to you can give additional insight to the situation. Be aware of their facial expressions. Determining how they are feeling is important when responding to them. Also at some point during the discussion, acknowledge what your child is saying, make eye contact with them and show interest by leaning toward them or placing your hand on their shoulder.
- Responding correctly to your child is important. If they tell you something that you don’t like to hear don’t ignore it. Make certain that you understand what your child is saying and means. Get confirmation by repeating what you heard back to them. Don’t offer counsel in response to every statement they make. It is much better to listen carefully and to understand the feelings behind the words. Lastly, use “I” statements when responding (I understand that is hard…. or I am concerned because…) and examples from your own life that may offer insight. Speaking for oneself sounds thoughtful and less like a lecture.