Family matters and it is important that you keep communication with your little one(s) strong and healthy. Life can get hectic, but don’t let this stop you from practicing good communication habits with your children. Start incorporating these 5 communication tips with your children to form a stronger relationship and smooth over those rough spots along the way.
Make time to talk, even if it’s just a little.
Whether you have 10 hours or 10 minutes, dedicating time to your child to have a genuine face to face, distraction free chat is worth more than you may know. Turn off the TV, put away your cell phone, sit down with your child and ask them about how they’re feeling or what they are looking forward to in the next few days. Let them talk, and really listen and respond genuinely, letting them know they have your undivided attention. Also, don’t avoid the tough days! When your child is having a hard time that’s when they need you the most. Even if they aren’t in the best mood, make sure they still know you are there for them no matter what. Make this a habit and you may see that your child becomes more apt to communicate with you about what’s on their mind on a regular basis.
Your Child’s Feelings are Real, Treat Them That Way
Avoid telling your child what he/she thinks or feels. Don’t tell your child that feeling a certain way is silly or that “they will understand when they get older.” Your child’s feelings are real and they are happening now. As they mature, their feelings will too, but don’t make them feel like their emotions are inadequate at that moment. Encourage them to express themselves, never shut their feelings down.
Be Clear With Your Expectations
Sometimes the words we say and phrases we use aren’t always understood by our children. As parents, we know what we mean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean our little one does! Instead of using general statements like “behave yourself” try being more specific. Give clear directions. For example “When we go to the store it’s important that you stay with me. It’s okay to look at the items on the shelves, but you can’t touch anything. Do you understand?”
It can be easy to get frustrated as a parent, but keep in mind, nothing positive comes from a negative. If you stay calm, even if your child isn’t, you will be able to handle the situation in a clear minded way instead of letting the anger take over. Next time you feel like getting angry, just remind yourself that it won’t make anything better, and could just make things worse! Try your best to relax, it’s worth it! Also keep in mind you are a role model for your child, don’t let getting angry easily start looking like an acceptable way of acting. Set a positive example for your children!
Let the Problem be Known
Avoid generalizing when your child has misbehaved. It is important that your child knows that their actions are the problem, not themselves. Instead of saying something general like “you were bad at Danny’s birthday party yesterday” try to be more specific and let your child know that their behavior was the problem. An example of this would be “cutting the birthday cake line was not the right thing to do, it was unfair to the other children who were waiting their turn.”
We hope that these tips will help smooth out and strengthen the relationship between you and your little ones. Parenting can be a job of tough love at times, but you can definitely make the best out of it! Share this blog post with parents you know!