• 3 Basic Communication Guidelines for Parents

  • Daily life is hectic enough without having to worry about what your kids think of you. At the end of the day, you are a parent and your kids are kids. That means it may not always feel like you’re on an equal playing field, especially when it comes to one-on-one discussions. However, even if you tend to make small talk with your child, it’s important to connect on a level that builds trust and opens communication. These are two of the most central aspects of any relationship, and developing them with your children can ensure you share a happy family life.

    One way to do this is by practicing kind, yet effective communication. Try to make eye contact when you speak to your child. A gentle touch on the arm is sometimes enough to grab your child’s attention, but don’t hesitate to use a stern, yet kind verbal attention grabber. When your child is upset or whining, it’s especially important to communicate support rather than aggression.

    Accentuating your feelings in everyday situations is another way to connect with your kids. This is done by putting on your best “grown up” tone, and talking to your child about how they feel and expressing your own feelings on the matter. Make an effort to be understanding, and you’ll find you can often end a bad situation without punishment or upset.

    Finally, it’s important to work through problems together rather than shifting blame one way or another. Encourage problem solving among your kids by bringing a solution to their attention rather than yelling at them to settle down or stressing yourself out trying to solve it for them. Simply remind them that a solution exists, if only they can find it. This goes for troublesome situations between you and your child, as well. Remember that, as the adult, it’s up to you to keep a cool head, and instead of getting angry, practice making every problem a lesson in learning for next time.