The Importance of Effective
Having a quality conversation with your child can sometimes be difficult. Often it just feels like they are not paying attention, right? This is a sign of ineffective parent-child communication and can be easily rectified.
Parents and children express themselves differently. We all use age-related words and ways to communicate. Grownups often over think their statements. Kids, on the other hand, tend to say whatever comes to mind. They are therefore often more honest about their feelings than we are.
You can start to converse more easily with your kids today by understanding these differences and implementing 6 valuable building blocks to effective parent-child communication.
Your ability to understand your child will improve vastly. At the same time, you will get them to really listen to what you are saying. Good parent-child communication skills will strengthen your family bond for life.
Let’s have a look at the effective strategies forming the basis to improve parent-child communication skills. Implement these today and get on the way to having stress-free conversations with your child.
Building block nr. 1 to Stress-Free
A great way to start any conversation is to be down on a child’s level. We must make direct eye contact with them. Ask them to also look you in the eye so as to build mutual respect. Holding their hands keep their attention and help them focus in on what we are saying.
Using this strategy will improve your parent-child communication skills from the get-go. Give it a try today!
Building block nr. 2 to Stress-Free
We need to leave whatever we are busy with and give them our full attention when they initiate dialogue. Resisting the urge to answer our phones … or finish watching our favorite TV show over their shoulders … whilst talking to them is very important.
By doing this we let them know that the conversation is important to us and that we care about what they are saying. They will automatically respect our words more at the same time.
Building block nr. 3 to Stress-Free
We need to praise our kids daily for doing something to the best of their ability. Even if the result was not perfect, their effort is what counts. For example, if they try to organize their socks drawer, all though imperfectly, their effort is much more valuable than no attempt whatsoever. And, when they don’t get our approval for their attempt they will probably never try again.
It is very important to use positive statements such as “It would be great if you can put your shoes away”. Or “I really appreciate your shoes being put away”. As opposed to “you always forget your shoes in the corridor”. Or “if I trip over your shoes again, they will end up in the rubbish bin!” Before making a request, we need to think it over and say it in a constructive way.
You will be amazed by the positive result of this little added effort.
Aim to make your wishes not only positive but also short and direct. Giving a lecture has little impact on changing behavior. Saying things that are hurtful rarely drives a child into action.
We must always resist bribing our children to get things done. Proposing an appropriate award when they finish a task is however extremely constructive. Read more about this strategy on the 7 Simple Strategies to be an Awesome Parent post.
Building block nr. 4 to Stress-Free
Getting involved in our kids’ daily activities is part of being an awesome parent. Allow everyone in the family to say how they feel about decisions that impact on you all collectively. For example when planning family outings or holiday plans.
Propose to solve problems together. This helps kids realize that we are taking them seriously. Give them an opportunity to suggest a plan of action. Remember to never dismiss your child’s feelings no matter how insignificant. Dismissal will ultimately result in them not contributing to conversations and sharing their thoughts.
It is important for kids to know and understand that is ok to disagree at times.
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Building block nr. 5 to Stress-Free
Both their and our body language speak volumes. Kids will often tell us way more by means of body language than actual words. Make a real effort to read the message behind their words. Always let your words and body language display the same message. This is the essence of effective parent-child communication and part of us being an awesome parent.
Be consistently affectionate and friendly when having a personal discussion. This makes them feel comfortable to share and have important conversations with us, especially when we are alone with them.
We need to refrain from reprimanding our kids in the company of friends or siblings. Have personal conversations when alone. The discussion and end result will be way more effective when done one- on-one and without distraction.
Building block nr. 6 to Stress-Free
We have to make sure that our child understands what we are saying or asking. Especially when we are giving instructions that we expect them to follow. A good way of doing that is by having them repeat our request. Similarly, by repeating their opinions we make them know that we understand and appreciate their feelings.
Good parent-child communication can be challenging at times, but it is very important. It impacts positively on our family life when effective.
It benefits every other social interaction our children will have, be it with friends or the teacher at the school. By acquiring effective communication skills from us, our children will grow confidence in speaking about their ideas and feelings, no matter the situation. They will also appreciate the importance of listening when others are speaking and respect different views and opinions.
Incorporate these six building blocks into your family life today and let conversation time be something you and your children cherish.
Adore them for who they are and do not let a single day pass without you telling them that you are proud of them and love them to the moon and back!
Do you have difficulties talking to your child? Tell me about them in the comment section below. Share your ideas or approaches that work well for you so that we can all learn from it.
Grab your own copy of the 6 Building blocks to stress-free Parent-Child Communication infographic to save for easy reference.
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