My child does not listen! Sounds familiar? I think many parents will answer yes to that question! Mostly because parent-child communication is often a challenge. And it feels like our kids just won’t listen … But, it doesn’t need to be like that.
Having a quality conversation with our kids can be quite challenging. Often it feels like the kids are just not paying attention … And the root of this problem is simply ineffective parent-child communication …
There is good news though
the problem can easily be solved. Few families have mastered the art of good parent-child communication, but as a principal, we can all learn to communicate better. And, in today’s post, we discuss 6 building blocks to do just that and help you improve your parent-child communication
- How to raise a brilliant child with 8 powerful actions
- How to discipline a child and stop defiant behavior
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Time to unravel parent-child communication problems
and discover everything we need to know to help us talk in a way that our kids actually listen to us the first time. The most common communication difficulties include
Parents and children express themselves differently
This happens because we all use age-related words and ways to communicate. and it’s very important to understand and acknowledge these differences. You can find great information on this topic, form this amazing book.
We speak from the heart or the brain
Grownups often overthink their statements. Kids, on the other hand, tend to say whatever comes to mind. This is the reason why they are often more honest about their feelings than we are …
Top communication tip
A super-easy way to help kids explore their emotions is to use big emotion games that teach them these important life skills. Learning to express their emotions is also boosted by this great family game.
How to improve parent-child communication
You can start to converse more easily with your kids today by
- understanding the problems mentioned above and
- implementing the 6 valuable building blocks below
And doing this will vastly improve your ability to understand your child and you will get them to really listen to what you are saying – the first time.
And, it gets even better
Good parent-child communication skills will strengthen your family bond for life. Helping you build lasting relationships stemming from respect and trust.
6 building blocks to stress-free parent-child communication
You can grab yourself a copy of the 6 building blocks below for easy reference.
Implement these building blocks today and be on your way to having stress-free conversations with your child. Time to discover more detail on each of the important parent-child communication building blocks
Better communication building block nr. 1
A great way to start any conversation is to be down on a child’s level and make direct eye contact with them. Ask them to also look you in the eye, to build mutual respect.
Be on the same level and make eye contact and
- hold their hands to keep their attention and
- help them focus on what you are saying
You will be amazed at the difference this little gesture makes. It will help you improve your parent-child communication skills from the get-go.
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Better communication building block nr. 2
- to resist the urge to answer our phones …
- or finish watching our favorite TV show over their shoulders …
Aren’t we all guilty of this … ?
By giving them our undivided attention
- we let them know that the conversation is important to us and
- we truly care about what they are saying
They will automatically respect our words more at the same time.
Better communication building block nr. 3
We need to encourage our kids daily. Yes, daily! Because our encouragement and praise
- reassures our children, it
- motivates them
- improves their cooperation
- helps to earn their respect and
- boosts their self-esteem
Tips on how to be positive and encourage our kids without blaming or bribing
Before discussing the most important ones in more detail, here are four tips to implement immediately
- always be sincere to build trust
- be specific so the kids know what we want from them
- try to be as descriptive as possible depending on their age
- be positive and avoid blaming them
the power of positivity
It is very important to use positive statements such as
- it would be great if you can put your shoes away or
- it’s really great when those shoes find their way into the cupboard …
As opposed to negative remarks like
- you always forget your shoes in the corridor or
- if I trip over your shoes again, they will end up in the rubbish bin …
Can you see the difference? We need to make a mental note to always
- think before we speak and
- change our requests to be constructive rather than judging
keep it short and sweet
Try to make your request short and direct. Giving a lecture has little impact on changing behavior. Saying things that are hurtful rarely motivates a child to take action.
beware of bribery
We must always resist bribing our children to get things done. There’s nothing wrong with using start cards or reward charts. Just make sure the kids understand what they are rewarded for to make this an effective strategy.
Propose an appropriate award when they complete a task. And praise them for doing something to the best of their ability. Remember we don’t reward perfect results, simply their effort, no matter what the outcome.
You might like to read about effective discipline and how to stop defiant behavior.
an example of positive praise
I allow my 5-year-old son to organize his own sock and underwear drawer. When doing this, we always need to remind ourselves to not judge the result, but simply encourage the effort. Although imperfect, 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.
The best positive praise comes without blame and comparison
Because when it does, unfortunately, it
- lowers our kids’ self-esteem
- makes them unsure of themselves
- makes them feel unworthy and
- grows feelings of quilt
and that’s exactly what we don’t want for our kids.
Teenager Communication tip
We should always refrain from reprimanding our kids in the company of friends or siblings. And, rather have personal conversations when we and our kids are alone. Doing that allows for more effective one-on-one discussion without distraction or feelings of shame.
Read more about this in the 7 Simple Strategies to be an Awesome Parent post.
Better communication building block nr. 4
It is very important to 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 holidays
Teaching kids to voice their feelings and opinions
is super important at a very young age. Great ways to do this is by teaching whilst having fun. Here are some great ideas to get you started
- enjoy some of the 101 family happiness and kindness hacks together
- play family games helping them to express their emotions
- do learning styles activities
Another great way is to solve problems together
- jointly make family plans
- this helps them know we respect their opinions
- give them the opportunity to suggest a plan of action
Remember to never dismiss your child’s opinion. Dismissal will result in them contributing less to conversations and not sharing their thoughts and makes the teenage year so much more difficult.
Better communication building block nr. 5
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.
We should always let our words and body language say the same thing, this is the essence of effective parent-child communication. We must try to be affectionate and friendly when having a personal discussion as this
- makes them feel comfortable to share personal issues with us and
- initiate important conversations
Better communication building block nr. 6
Earlier, we were wondering we our kids won’t listen. Is it maybe because they don’t understand …
We have to make sure that our children comprehend what we are saying or asking. Especially when we are giving instructions that we expect them to follow.
Repeating each other’s request
is an effective way to ensure everyone’s on the same page. In addition, by repeating their opinions and requests
- we show them we understand and
- appreciate their feelings and opinions
Parent-child communication tips summarized
So there you have the 6 building blocks of good parent-child communication that you can start to implement today. Even though stress-free communication can be challenging at times, it remains the foundation of a lasting parent-child relationship and we need to work on it every single day.
Here’s a quick list again
6 building blocks to effective parent-child communication
- be on the same level and make eye contact
- give your undivided attention
- be positive, no blaming or bribing
- voice opinions and feeling
- focus on body language
- repeat each other messages
Let’s finish this off by summarizing the
benefits of effective parent-child communication
when we effectively communicate it teaches our kids an important life skill, and
- has a positive impact on our day-to-day family life
- enhances positive social interaction
- with friends and
- teachers at school
By acquiring effective communication skills from us
- our children will develop confidence in speaking about their ideas and feelings, no matter the situation
- and appreciate the importance of listening when others are speaking and
- respect different views and opinions.
Incorporate these six parent-child communication building blocks into your family life today and let conversation time be something you and your children look forward to.
Always remember to adore your kids for who they are and not what they do. And, do not let a single day pass without you telling them
you are proud of them and love them to the moon and back!
Please leave a comment below
- and tell me how easily you converse with your child and
- the communication skills that work for you and those that don’t
More parent-child communication information
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