Communicating with children of any age is probably the key parenting skill, as it helps build their self-esteem and confidence.
Through parenting we can prepare our children to survive and thrive in their environment. The environment that today’s society provides children is full of challenges and big issues like drugs, violence, and sex. That is why it is so important for children and parents to communicate openly.
Communication takes both talking and listening. Listening, instead of lecturing, gives children space to share their feelings, and by sorting through their own problems can help with their decision making skills. Further, good communication helps children develop confidence, feelings of self-worth, and good relationships with others.
At every age children need their parents to understand how they’re feeling. It’s your job to make your child feel that she can talk to you about anything going on in her life. You achieve this by listening properly and not leaping in with your own judgments or constantly blaming your child.
You want to be wise and prepared when you talk to your teen. Here are tips that can help. Good communication helps children and parents to develop confidence, feelings of self-worth, and good relationships with others. Try these tips:
Teach children to listen… gently touch a child before you talk… say their name.
Eat at least one meal together per day. Mealtime allows for two-way conversation and family bonding
Use time in the car wisely. Turn mom’s taxi service into an opportunity for stimulating conversation!
Speak in a quiet voice… whisper sometimes so children have to listen… they like this.
Host a family night each week. With a little effort, most families can set aside one evening per week for family activity.
Practice listening and talking: talk with your family about what you see on TV, hear on the radio or see at the park or store. (Talk with your children about school and their friends.)
Organize a 10-minute family time before bed each evening to cuddle on the sofa and affirm your love for your children.
Look a child in the eyes so you can tell when they understand… bend or sit down… become the child’s size.
Host family meetings to give your children a forum in which their input matters.
Express positive emotions. It takes more than just words to communicate positively. Studies show that only 7 percent of our message is through our words while 38 percent is through our tone of voice and 55 percent is through our posture and facial expressions!
Be conscious of how your communication affects your children. Children take cues from you as how to treat others in the family, as well as how to act outside the home.
Many parents only see their children when they’re at home. Get involved with your child’s school. Volunteer to help with extracurricular programs, such as theater or sports. You may discover new and wonderful aspects to your child that you otherwise would have missed.