Clear lines of communication between parents and their children are integral because not many kids open up despite being more articulate today than many of us were at their age. Their outlets are generally limited to their friends, the internet, and pop culture. And it doesn’t help that many parents are so busy that they tend to keep conversations light to move on to what their next task is on their daily checklists.
The reality is that while your children may not tell you about it, they need you to occasionally probe into their lives occasionally and understand what they feel or think. The demonstration of affection and care won’t just show them that they have someone in their corner who will have their back no matter what. But it will give you an insight on how to strengthen your relationship too. To this end, here are some tips on how to effectively communicate with your children.
Acknowledge their feelings
Empathy is a comforting and powerful response, especially for a child. When you recognize feelings, you automatically validate them. Whether it’s a negative emotion like frustration, disappointment and anger, or something more positive, acknowledging what your kids feel allows them to experience it. As a result, it can help you encourage them to open up more about what goes on in their lives.
Gather information before making corrections
Whether or not your child is in the wrong, you must always resist the temptation to make any corrections before you’ve heard them out. However, through this non-combative approach, not only will you acknowledge what they feel. But you’ll also encourage more cooperation from them if they feel your willingness to hear them out rather than simply pointing out their mistakes and reprimanding them for their wrongdoings.
Avoid shaming them
Disciplining children is crucial to their growth. However, you must never go as far as to shame them for their mistakes. After all, you’ll only diminish their worth by doing so. Instead, focus your efforts on their behavior. If it’s something that you have difficulty handling, seek assistance from a professional child behavior therapist. Giving instructions in a much more encouraging and supportive manner will help you teach your children to correct their mistakes more effectively than losing your cool will.
Level with them
Many kids are reluctant to open up to their parents because of the generational gap. When you get right down to it, it’s much easier to talk to someone who understands where they are coming from. For this reason, you must learn to level with them. Take the time to learn about what their interests are and the media they are exposed to. It will help you close the gap.
As a parent, communicating with your children isn’t always easy. However, by acknowledging what they feel, collecting information before responding, steering clear of shaming their mistakes, and leveling with them, they’ll be a lot more receptive to what you have to say.