Best Tips On Communicating With Your Child
Greater openness is important because, while 21st-century children are incredibly articulate—“Did my five-year-old just bring up greening the house?”—they don’t always open up about what really bothers them or about their lives in what I refer to as “the second family”: their peers, pop culture, and the Internet. Knowing specifics about preschool through high school dramas, concerns, or worries makes a significant difference in being an authoritative parent who can guide children through an increasingly difficult academic and social environment. After all, knowledge is power, and understanding how to speak naturally to your child, as one parent put it, “makes me feel like you truly care.”
This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.
Want to learn how to get your kids to listen without nagging, yelling or losing control?
–>check out this free parenting class<–
Communication Tips For Parents
Do you ever feel that conversing with your children is more difficult than it has to be?
“How was school?” you inquire.
“Fine,” says your child.
“So, what did you do?” you ask.
“Nothing,” says your child.
“Come on, I know you did something,” you say.
“Come on, Mom,” your child says, rolling his eyes. “Don’t bother with me.”
Ugh. You go around in circles, and it always comes to the same conclusion: frustration, annoyance, and detachment.
You remember them telling you about every small rock they discovered in the park or describing the party scene at Barbie’s dream house when they were younger. You’d give anything for those conversations again.
A little modification, a new phrasing, or a tweak in your body language may sometimes make a huge impact in your children’s lives.
Give Full Attention
You’re preoccupied. Throughout the day, you are tugged in a variety of directions. Stopping what you’re doing and focusing on your childrens tale, on the other hand, sends the message, “You are important to me!” Keep in mind that some kids converse more at night, so include it in your sleep ritual. When there is less eye-to-eye contact, such as in the automobile, other childrens prefer to chat.
Show Active Listening
It might be difficult to sit and listen to a child when they are speaking. We want to fix grammar, impart a lesson, and make sure they understand our position. Interrupting, unfortunately, frequently leads to the end of a conversation. Instead, focus on showing your child that you are paying attention by saying, “Oh” or “mmhmm.” “That sounds embarrassing!” find a feeling. Alternatively, you might ask clarifying questions such, “So, what happened?”
Receiving negative or critical feedback is one of the most effective ways to stifle dialogue. Children make mistakes all the time; it’s how they learn and develop. If your child shares anything personal with you, resist the impulse to judge their narrative or point out all of their flaws. Instead, pay attention to what they have to say. If you must provide feedback to your child, do so in a way that maintains open channels of communication: “Is there any method to express your displeasure with your teacher?”
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Make an effort to word questions for kids in such a manner that your child must respond with more than a simple “yes” or “no.” “Did you have a nice day?” instead of “Did you have a good day?” “What book did you select today at the library?” “How was your math exam today?” instead of “How was your math test today?” “What was the most difficult question on your arithmetic test today?” you may ask. “I wonder…” or “How did it feel?” are examples of phrases that might start a conversation.
Allow Big Emotions
You’ll have to become used to hearing about the good, the terrible, and the ugly…without shutting off the conversation if you want to be a good listener. Allowing your children to vent their anger, irritation, disappointment, and disputes is one example of this. Practicing coping skills during quiet periods might help your child manage large feelings if he or she has trouble handling them (not in the middle of a heated conversation).
“Thanks for the lecture, dad, you’ve encouraged me to alter my ways,” I’ve never heard a child remark. It’s tempting to sit down with your child and give them a long explanation, but your child will most likely tune you out and your “knowledge” will be forgotten. Keep your talks short and search for methods to instil morals and values in your childrens daily life.
When you fix your childrens problem for them, you are robbing them of the opportunity to think critically and come up with their own answers. Allow your child to think about the problem and come up with a few options before you intervene with the “ideal” answer. Before proposing one of your own, assist them in evaluating these ideas and, if feasible, allow them to test out their own solutions.
Kids can tell when you’re being honest and when your words aren’t. Save your praise for things that truly earn it, rather than throwing out a lot of generic “good job” responses. When you notice or hear something noteworthy, say something like, “You showed a lot of guts speaking up for Lilah in class today.”
Knowing when to stop talking is one of the most difficult communication skills to master. Parents have a tendency to repeat, explain, solve, and stay involved in disagreements long after they are no longer beneficial. Make the decision to exit the discussion sooner rather than later. Accept that you won’t be able to “have the final say” or “show her who’s boss.” Concentrate more on the things you have control over, such as your own actions and habits.
What You Should Do Next:
1. Subscribe To My Parenting NewsletterSign Up For My Parenting Newsletter for tips on creating a happier home and becoming a more positive parent. As a bonus when you subscribe you’ll get a copy of my FREE Growth Mindset Printout For Kids which is the KEY to raising resilient kids with a growth mindset.
2. Register For A Pretty Awesome FREE 60-Minute Class:Register for a free class called GET KIDS TO LISTEN THE RIGHT WAY; an exclusive FREE class from nationally recognized parenting coach, Amy McCready.
3. Sign Up For A 7 Step Positive Parenting CourseEnroll now in the most in-depth parenting class. After discovering these common sense, easy-to-implement, research-based tools you can learn how to:
- Easily get kids to listen – the FIRST time. No yelling or reminding…not even once!
- Put an end to daily power struggles. Bedtime became a breeze, and all the dawdling, chore wars, sibling rivalry, and mealtime meltdowns disappeared.
- Reduce backtalk by HALF! It’s simple once you know the secrets of these two ‘buckets.’
- Say goodbye to punishments that DON’T work. There’s a 5-step formula that works WAYYY better than time-outs.
- Feel amazing, confident, and empowered as a parent, every day. I NEVER go to bed feeling guilty anymore! (Okay, well maybe sometimes…’ mom guilt’ is still a thing.)