Have you taken time to communicate to your children? This can take place by verbal conversations, letters or spending quality time with them. We have become so consumed with social media and being so busy that we are not making time for our children. We are allowing social media, school activities and the TV to raise our children. Make a change in 2015 and start out with a plan. Write down the things you want to see differently about your communication with your children. Make sure you understand what each child needs and how best to communicate with them. Children are different so its not a cookie cutter approach but based on their individual needs. See below some great tips for mom and dads. Start TODAY! so that 2015 is filled with great conversational memories.


Communication Tips for Parents – (American Psychological Association)

Be available for your children

  • Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk — for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car — and be available.
  • Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what’s happening in their lives.
  • Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child, and avoid scheduling other activities during that time.
  • Learn about your children’s interests — for example, favorite music and activities — and show interest in them.
  • Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.


Let your kids know you’re listening

  • When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen.
  • Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive.
  • Listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to hear.
  • Let them complete their point before you respond.
  • Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.


Respond in a way your children will hear

  • Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.
  • Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree.
  • Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, “I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think.”
  • Focus on your child’s feelings rather than your own during your conversation.



  • Ask your children what they may want or need from you in a conversation, such as advice, simply listening, help in dealing with feelings or help solving a problem.
  • Kids learn by imitating. Most often, they will follow your lead in how they deal with anger, solve problems and work through difficult feelings.
  • Talk to your children — don’t lecture, criticize, threaten or say hurtful things.
  • Kids learn from their own choices. As long as the consequences are not dangerous, don’t feel you have to step in.
  • Realize your children may test you by telling you a small part of what is bothering them. Listen carefully to what they say, encourage them to talk and they may share the rest of the story.


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Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built. James Dobson

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About lettertooursons

Yolanda Shields best-selling author has over 20 years of experience as a business leader and also does international workforce development and social entrepreneurship work in the continent of Africa and other 3rd World Countries. She is a much sought-after speaker and trainer in the area of small business, entrepreneurship, nonprofit startup and sustainability, fund development, grant writing, diversity, human capital management, career development, and social entrepreneurship. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States, France, and Africa. “I serve and guide individual solopreneurs or companies to new levels, expand growth and scale businesses to make a significant impact to produce an increased value that stands out among others. I love working in a collaborative way with leaders to translate business vision into strategic plans that are aligned to execute with excellence and sustainability”. She has earned a B.S. in Education and Social Work (APSU) MBA (HRM and Entrepreneurship). She has been appointed by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the Statewide Disability Board and the Labor and Workforce Development Board for the State of Tennessee and Vice Chair the Oversight Committee. She has assisted over 20 corporations in the areas of fund development, talent development, strategic planning, executive coaching/training, business operations and celebrity charity management. She is currently a mentor at the Vanderbilt University Wond’ry Innovation Center. She has worked with such celebrities as CeCe Winans, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Tony Boselli, and many others. Yolanda’s first book released in September 2013 which included a 10 city tour in 2013-2014 across the United States, France and continent of Africa where she shared her inspirational book dedicated to “Mothers & Son’s” – “Letters to Our Sons” – A Mother’s Journey Raising Sons to Become Men with Character and Courage. Her 2nd Book focused on Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy released February 2016 “Entrepreneurship is a MindSet not a Storefront”. For more information on Ms. Yolanda Shields visit www.YolandaEShields.com To Book her Email Booking@YesBuilds.com
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  1. kcgroves says:

    I feel like I talk to my kids ALL the time! I often think things like this are just common sense parenting, but you are correct that in this age of social media and constant communication through text it is easy to forget to actually speak to people (especially our kids).

    • Great comment kcgroves. We have to be intentional and do more face to face communication. It can be while you are cooking or in the car as well. Thanks for your feedback.
      Letters To Our Sons – Yolanda Conley Shields

  2. This was a great reminder. I was relieved to see I do a lot of this, but these two points were very good for me to hear: “Soften strong reactions; kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive,” and “Express your opinion without putting down theirs; acknowledge that it’s okay to disagree.” That’s what I need to work on.

    • Great comment Bonnie. Glad this was a great reminder for you. The fact that you are aware of the areas that you need to work on shows that you are doing things right. This is an area we all have to work on which will help our children grow up to be strong and confident in who they are even when the world tries to tell them something different. Start by writing a letter and telling them the great things that they do well.
      Letters to Our Sons

  3. These are excellent guidelines. We follow somewhere in the middle on this – victories in some areas, and other areas where we need to work better to listen, to talk, to connect with our kids.

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