In order to reach common goals, parents and children need to be able to communicate effectively. By practicing good speaking and listening skills, you’re instilling something in your kids that they’ll carry into adulthood. The likelihood of them ‘forgetting’ to tell you important details about their lives lessen.
Here are four basic tips for better parent/child communication:
- Talk in-between appointments and tasks. Make conversation a big part of your child’s experience. Speak to them while driving to school, between home and practice, and even when they’re getting ready for bed. This helps them feel comfortable with the idea of speaking with you regularly.
- Schedule time in for talks. Make it a point to sit down and have conversations often. Ask about how things are going in your child’s life. Get to know their friends, teachers, and teammates. This allows you to get a feel for their world as they live in it.
- Don’t be afraid to show your human side. Kids need to know that it’s okay to feel the full extent of their emotions. That’s why it’s better to show them yours rather than remain strong in the most emotionally charged moments. Keep your cool but don’t be afraid to share how you feel. This encourages your children to do the same.
- Teach them emotional literacy. Start asking questions when your child starts relaying a story. It helps you understand the context of the conversation. Ask who they were with and what was said. Ask them to explain what happened next. That way you get to the point and teach your children to be specific with their requests and interactions.
Enjoy better parent/child communication going forward. You have the tools necessary to excel at this task. By including your child as part of the decision making process, you hold them accountable for being organized and expressing their needs and preferences to you and other people that can help them.