Communicating With Your Children

As a parent, one of the toughest skills to develop is communication with your children. You might be a great communicator at work, scoring highly on communication in reviews. You make presentations in front of high level executives and get compliments on those presentation. At home though, it seems that you can never get through to your kids. They seem to be ignoring you, or at least not listening to your entire message. You get frustrated, because you are using the same approach your parents used with you. The key here is that communication is an evolving skill, and so is listening. As listening skills change, you need to adjust your approach to communication as a parent. There are several tips to do that with today’s generation. 

Communicate with Respect 

Children seem to be growing up faster than ever today. In some ways they are. In school, children are given high levels of respect from teachers and administrators. Show your child a level of respect and they will listen more. Don’t approach your child in a hostile tone as your primary form of communication. Speak calmly and allow your child to speak as well. Even if you have no intent on little their input affect your decisions, allowing them to be heard will increase the communication between you. 

Explain Your Decisions 

Yes, we heard “because I said so” growing up as kids many times and had to accept it. How did that make you feel though? Did you accept what your parents told you willingly? Chances are that you didn’t and that you rebelled in some form. Explaining the reasoning behind your decisions will improve communication with your child. Your child still might not agree with your decision or accept it 100 percent, but will see the logic behind the decision. Not only will this improve your communication with your child, it will teach your child how to communicate now and in the future. 

Have A Calm Conversation 

You probably do not enjoy being yelled at. You didn’t enjoy it when you were a child, and you don’t enjoy it at work today. Your child is the same way. Being yelled at puts someone on the defensive immediately. When someone is on the defensive, it is hard for two people to communicate. If an argument occurred, wait until both of you can calm down to discuss the situation that you wanted to speak about that caused the argument. 

Ask Questions Instead of Making Demands 

When you do have a conversation with your child, especially if it resulted in an argument previously, ask questions instead of giving orders. Ask your child if he knows why he did was wrong, Ask why he did it, and when he would do if he was in your shoes. His answers can then be used to develop a plan to resolve the situation. This will help in making your child feel heard and part of the solution. The key is to communicate instead of demanding.

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