One of the easiest ways to know what is going on with your kids is to have an easy and open communication style where they feel very comfortable with expressing themselves and telling you how they feel. Younger kids tend to talk a lot except for those who are naturally quiet or introverted. But as they hit puberty, they have a lot going on and wouldn’t easily be open to their parents. Are you wondering how to get your kids to be more open and comfortable communicating with you? These are things you can do to get them to talk to you much more openly.
- Show them you are available
There are instances where parents might act in specific ways that communicate to the kids that they are too busy. However, when you notice your child is going through an issue that affects their emotions, you should try to give them your full attention. Also, take part in important activities and significant events they are involved in, such as competitions, talent shows, football matches, and science fairs. They would consider such events as necessary and would want you to share in their joys and success. It may require that you reschedule certain activities on your personal or work schedule, but this is worth doing, and it would bring you closer to them. It also creates the impression that if you can share in their joys, you will share their pain and difficulties.
If you have older children who have left home, you can still be available to them by keeping regular contact and helping them out however you can. For example, if they are abroad and they require certain items shipped to them, you can assist them with finding the best shipping company with great rates, this will help you learn more about the best services to use going forward. Small things like this keeps the lines of communication open, and shows that you can still make time for them regardless of their age.
- Schedule special days for them
Create special date activities where you spend memorable moments with your children. It can involve personal dates or something they will enjoy doing with you. Preferably, it should be only the two of you because when there are more people they may talk less. You can even decide to extend their screen time and watch a movie with them. This bonding time allows you to start conversations quickly and have them expressing themselves. Don’t be judgmental when they say something you disapprove of. The point is to make them feel comfortable and be themselves around you; it will help to drop their guards and let you know more about them. These special times can be scheduled once a week or once a month, and at some point, your kids will eagerly look forward to this time.
- Allow them to vent
Be a good listening parent for your kids, and they will tell you things. It is beneficial to allow your kids to vent when they need it. When they start speaking about their worries, don’t be too quick to cut in with suggestions or pieces of advice. Doing this could make them feel like you are in a hurry to be done with them to focus on other things. While they talk, you can throw in some questions to show them that you’re listening and paying attention to what they say. Also, try not to tease them while they talk about something they feel passionate about. It might just stop them from communicating altogether. Especially if your child is quite emotional, teasing, and making sarcastic comments might make things worse.