Are you concerned about the level of communication you have with your children? It’s frustrating when you can’t really seem to connect with each other – especially about the things that matter!
On the other hand, effective communication not only enables you to understand each other, but it also strengthens your bond. Wouldn’t you love to have this level of communication?
Luckily, there are steps you can take to strengthen your communication.
1. Keep an open door policy. Your children will be more willing to talk if you make it clear that you’re willing to listen to them. An open door policy means that you’re not too busy or stressed to deal with their issues. Children need to know that they can come to you with any issue and feel confident that you’re willing to listen and talk when they need you.
2. Listen first. If you listen to them without talking or interrupting, it shows your kids that you care what they think, and they’ll share more with you.Sometimes, your kids may simply need to vent or share their thoughts.At other times, they may want some feedback as well, but you’ll need to listen first to determine their need.
3. Ask questions. Questions can show your children that you’re paying attention to them and that you care.Ask appropriate questions that are relevant to the conversation.Ask open questions, appropriate for your child’s developmental level, to spark more conversation. Try not to stump your kids or make them feel hurt. Avoid questions that make them feel defensive.
4. Use easy conversations to strengthen your bond. In some conversations, you don’t have to offer advice. Your children may simply want to talk and discuss their day.Your kids may also want to solve some issues on their own without your interference.It’s important to use communication to build your relationship with your child, and sharing-only conversations support this endeavor.
5. Use positive language. The language you use during a conversation with your children can affect them. They can tell if you’re being sarcastic and mean. They can tell if you’re being negative or bored. They can also tell when you’re being kind and loving.Your language can affect the entire conversation and its direction. The way you react to your child’s words can show them that you care.It’s crucial to use positive language with your kids and show them that words matter.
6. Avoid anger. Your child may share information that makes you angry. But anger can stop a conversation or lead to a fight in an instant. Anger can also make your children afraid to talk to you.If you want to strengthen your communication, it’s crucial to learn to control your anger.Your anger shows your children that you’re emotional. It makes sharing difficult information or issues much harder for them, and they may even avoid you.
7. Give children space. Nagging your children to talk more usually doesn’t work. Avoid making your kids feel like they have to share every instant of their days with you.Your children may need space, and communication can actually benefit from it.They also need room to develop on their own, to grow and change. As they grow, their communication will change too. Try to go with the flow.
You can make communication an easier, more effective process with your children. Practice these tips and as your communication grows, so too will your relationship with your kids.