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.
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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