Methods and tips on how to develop good communication with your children.
Parenting is all about communicating with your child in the right way. We, parents, are grown-ups, with a lot of life experience, whilst the kids are still young and often misunderstood by us. My children, for instance, often tell me “But, mom, you just don’t understand me”. I admit I sometimes have problems in communication with them. However, I’m doing my best to comprehend what they’re trying to say or do. On the other hand, there are those opposite situations when my children cannot understand me. Moreover, they can respond to my words with plenty of eye-rolling, sighing, head-shaking, and showing that they don’t care without any regret.
In order to get full attention of your child, next time when you talk about something important, be aware of the following:
- Find the right time to talk about important issues. You can talk to your child before bedtime, when he or she is in bed, not sleeping, but playing with a toy or reading a book. Sit next to him or tuck yourself beside him in bed. Then take some time to gain his full attention until you start talking about those important issues. Or, you can choose to talk to your child when you’re outside, walking in the park. Remember, the best way to communicate with your children is when they feel relaxed.
- If they do the eye-roll every time you give them some advice, explain them it’s not the right attitude, and ask them if they disagree with what you are saying.
- If you child looks away, ask him to pay attention and make sure your talking won’t take too long.
- Turn off the TV while talking about something important, since TV draws attention away. You’ve probably noticed that they just don’t listen to you when the TV is on (some interesting content for kids, such as cartoons).
You should also be prepared for a conversation. Here are some tips to do so:
- If you want your child to be a good listener, make sure you’re a good role model. Take some time to listen to them and show them you pay attention to what they are saying. Thus, when they are talking about their problems or answer your questions, use phrases such as “I agree”, “Really?”, “Yes, it must be so.”…You can also nod or shake your head.
- Don’t let anything disturb conversation with your child, like a phone call or SMS. A rude thing to do is to interrupt a conversation by saying “Wait a minute, I have to take this call and then we continue!”. This will only show the child that your phone call is more important than the things you wanted to talk about. Therefore, choose the right time for conversation.
- Don’t give endless lectures. A conversation that seems never to end, in which you do all the talking, can be exhausting for a child. In addition, if he knows that you are prone to it, he will probably withdraw from the conversation, not willing to participate. You won’t even reach the point “go in one ear and out the other”.
- Avoid criticism. This is probably the most difficult task for you, especially if the conversation is about something your child has done wrong. Try to put yourself in his place and reduce your criticism in the best possible way, so he might not be aware of it.
Use some of these methods and tips, and you and your child will learn how to listen to each other. This will help you develop good communication with them, which is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship.