Effective ways to communicate with your son or daughter
You look at your children’s angelic little faces, feeling overwhelmed by how much they mean to you, and you just wish they’d come with a manual; a blueprint so that you could be sure you were doing everything right! Unfortunately that’s not possible but there are effective ways to communicate with your son or daughter, to encourage them to communicate effectively with you, which will help you to meet their needs and make being their parent a worthwhile experience.
First the basics:
- Take a genuine interest in what your child is saying to you. The subject may seem trivial, even silly, but remember it is very important to them.
- Never fake a laugh or other reaction, your child will know and will not appreciate it.
- Encourage and allow them time to communicate, never try to finish their sentences or tell them to hurry up. This is their time, their chance to talk and to share with you.
- Do not try to fix problems for them. Remember your child will just want to share their day but usually they will not want you to change things for them.
- Give them your undivided attention. Do not have the television on, attempt to do housework, talk to their siblings or your spouse, or allow yourself to be otherwise distracted at the same time.
- Set aside a time each day that is your talking time together.
- Some people find family mealtimes effective, where each family member takes turns at sharing their day.
- Others find it more effective to have individual talking time with each child when they come home from day care or school, before other older siblings arrive demanding attention.
- If you have a number of children, individual chats with each one of them when they are in bed is a good time for chat.
- Use an activity such as baking or colouring in to encourage your child to communicate and express their feelings to you.