Tips For Better Communication With Your Kids
Many problems with children start because of poor communication. Whether the arguments are because they don’t listen to you, or they accuse you of not listening to them.
Here are some tips to help improve conversation and communication with your child. They are not an overnight fix – much more of a slow burn. However with perseverance, both you and your children will develop better communication skills with each other and those around them.
The thing to take on board is that listening is a skill. A skill which needs patience and concentration. And it is a skill which many of us fail to really recognise. One way to teach your children to listen to you, is to gently touch the child before you talk and say their name.
Always try to speak in a quiet voice. Often less is more. Occasionally whisper so children have to stop what they are doing so they have to really listen to what you are saying.
Get down to the child’s level and look them in the eye. That way you can be sure they are listening and understanding what you are saying.
Practise listening and talking. Chat with your family about things that are going on around you, what is on TV or the radio. Talk about their friends and your friends. Their school days and your school days. In fact whatever happens to be topical.
Avoid talking on the phone or texting when you are out with your children. Avoid accepting phone calls when you are in the middle of family time. Taking that phone call will eat into your time with your children and is a signal that conversations with them are less interesting than with your friends.
Respect children and use a polite tone of voice. If we talk to our children as we would our friends, then our children are more likely to seek us out as confidants.
Praise children for being good. Especially important for teens who are trying your patience. Offering praise even for the smallest of actions can work wonders. For example co operating with you or their siblings, or helping you in some small way.
Remember that praise builds a child’s confidence and reinforces communication. Unkind words tear children down and teach them that they just aren’t good enough.
Use open answers when you are trying to get children to talk a little more to you. Make sure you make eye contact with them, and respond so they know you are listening by saying “I see” or “mmm,” or “really”.
Remember to tell your children you love them. Even that moody thirteen year old boy will like that. (Well as long as it’s not in front of his friends).
Make sure that you always give your undivided attention when your children want to talk to you. Don’t read, watch TV, fall asleep or make yourself busy with other tasks. Focus on them – whatever else you have to do can wait just a few minutes.