If you’re having a hard time communicating with your child or getting your child’s attention during your daily routines, here are some tips from experts that can help create open communication with the whole family.
Early childhood experiences have a lot to do with a child’s capacity to manage stress, feel confident, and encourage oneself later in life.
The perception of who a person is and how they feel about their role in their family and community is referred to as their ‘self-concept.’ Between the ages of two and six, this begins to emerge.
The importance of healthy parent-child connections in the development of a child’s positive self-concept cannot be overstated. A child who is continuously blamed, condemned, and criticized may develop a bad self-concept as an adult.
Here are some best practices to help improve communication with your children according to experts in the positive parenting field.
Steps To Effective Communication With Children
Make sure you’re Connecting Daily
“By far the most important form of attention we can give our loved ones is listening… True listening is love in action.”-M. Scott Peck
Dr. Laura Markham says that most parents of teenagers would admit that they wish they had spent more time chatting with their children between the ages of eight and thirteen.
They may have transferred their children from schoolwork to baths, or from church to soccer, but they always expected that the important talks would happen when their children were older.
However, most parents are surprised to learn that teenagers have other priorities, and unless you’ve made serious talks a habit all along, possibilities for family discussion and parental influence shrink.
Get Positive With Your Words
Amy McGrady over at Positive Parenting Solutions says that inquiries and interrogations, despite our best intentions, aren’t always the ideal approach to start a conversation.
Questions may be daunting, especially for children who have spent the whole day at school being interrogated. We can mistakenly project our emotions onto them, and if they perceive anxious energy or uncertainty in the inquiries, they may be less reluctant to offer information.
Instead, keep it basic with your welcome. “It’s wonderful to see you again!” “I’m glad you’re back.” This kind of positive reinforcement is a great way to maintain mutual respect between you and your children.
These encouraging comments establish a kind, upbeat tone. Avoiding early inquiries also enables your youngster to unwind after a full day at school, allowing for a more meaningful discussion later.
Use Active Listening
The CDC recommends active listening to help with communication.
Active listening can help you communicate more effectively with your child. It shows your youngster that you care about what she has to say.
To improve your active listening skills, try the following:
- offer your youngster your undivided attention
- Make eye contact and put down other objects to get down on your child’s level and reflect or repeat back what she is saying and feeling to ensure you understand.
It’s easy to dismiss our children’s difficulties, especially if we’ve had a rough day or are overworked. Our children, on the other hand, need to know that we will listen to them. This will increase the likelihood of our children discussing their concerns with us.
Mental Health says that when your child is countering you, resist the urge to correct them immediately, even if you think they’re wrong.
Hear them out before responding. Better yet, go an extra step by asking your child follow-up questions to learn more about why they see things as they do.
This approach acknowledges your child’s feelings and gets them talking. You are likely to get more cooperation when you are willing to hear their concerns versus simply correcting them.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
You can work on your parent-child relationship by asking open ended questions and giving your full attention to their answers.
Open ended questions can help open up the floor for difficult conversations, especially if you already have communication problems during your daily interactions.
This kind of positive communication works with young tikes as well as older children, and it’s never too early to start asking open ended questions. Allowing your children to talk about their big feelings can help tone down the negative behaviors you see in your child.
give Praise Where Praise Is Due
Child Mind Institute talks about the importance of praise when it comes to improving communication with kids.
When children are younger, parents prefer to praise them more, but teenagers want the same boost in self-esteem.
Teenagers may behave as if they don’t care what their parents think of them, but the fact is that they still want your approval. It’s also beneficial to the relationship to search for moments to be positive and supportive, especially when the connection is stressed.
Effective Communication With Children Bottom Line
Healthy communication will easily become a part of your connection with your kid if you make it a habit in other parts of your life.
Whether your child is a newborn or an adult, it is never too late to begin developing good communication skills. A child of any age will benefit from being intentional about listening and respecting each other’s opinions.