Knowing how to listen and talk is key to any healthy relationship, even between you and your children. But being a father is hard work and it can be a challenge to maintain good communication with your children, especially in their teens.
Another difficulty is that parents have to juggle their work life with family time, which means that most of the times they are not able to devote as much time as they would like to take care of the relationship with their children. In today’s article we explain a series of tips based on mutual respect that will help make the relationship between your kids and you more fluid and beneficial to both
|Tips to improve communication between parents and children
1. Be accessible to your kids
- Find out when your children are ready to talk -for example, at bedtime, before eating, in the car… – and try to be receptive; They should know that you want to hear them.
- The conversation begins ; It allows your kids to feel you know what is happening to them in their lives. It is important to start this by sharing your own thoughts with them than to start with questions, as they can be seen as an interrogation and can make them closer.
- Try to find a place to do an activity with the child that’s different each week and avoid scheduling other tasks during that time. Sharing time with them in person will make them feel special and important to you, and will facilitate communication between you.
- Learn about their interests and tastes— for example, your favorite music group, your hobby … – and show interest in it. Your children will positively value that you take their priorities into account. Also, if you have a hobby you can usually share the time while doing it together.
2. Let Your Kids Know You’re Listening to Them
- When your kids are talking about something important to them, drop whatever you’re doing and just listen to them . If they see you busy or apathetic they will definitely let you run away and never resort to a similar matter again.
- Express interest in whatever they are explaining to you, avoid being too intrusive . They should feel that the interest you are showing is genuine and nothing as an excuse to extract information.
- Listen to what they have to say, even if you find it difficult to understand or you do not get to share a whole lot . Everyone has a different way of thinking, your kids too, and that does not mean it’s not as valid as yours.
- Let them speak before answering . Don’t cut them in the middle of an explanation, nobody likes being interrupted while talking.
- Repeat what you just heard to make sure you understood correctly . Communication is not always clear and simple, and misunderstandings arise in many discussions between parents and children.
3. Respond so your kids listen to you
- Softens gave exaggerated responses ; Your kids will stop paying attention if you seem angry or defensive. Although sometimes this is difficult to achieve, try to remain calm and speak to them in a neutral tone. Improving communication with children means creating a suitable context for dialogue.
- Avoid discussing who is right . If everyone only thinks he is right, then neither of them can listen to the other’s reasons and a consensus can not be reached. Instead, I said, “I know you do not agree with me, but I think so”. express your opinion without trusting your children; Accept that there is nothing wrong with not agreeing on something.
- During the conversation, focus on your children’s feelings rather than your own . Sometimes it can be difficult to express what they feel and they need you to empathize with them, put yourself on their skin and understand them.
Final tips for improving communication with children
Finally, some tricks to improve and encourage communication between parents and children :1. Ask your children what they want or need from you in conversation : advice, just to listen to them, to help them deal with their feelings or to help them solve some problem.
2. Children learn by imitation . Often they will follow in your footsteps in how you handle anger and rage, how you solve problems and how you deal with complex situations and emotions. Try to be the best version of yourself for them, be a role model in the face of difficulties.3. Just talk to your kids ; Don’t let them do a monologue, criticize them, bully them or tell them hurtful things.
4. Children learn from their own decisions . Unless your actions may involve dangerous consequences, do not feel that you always have to intervene.
5. Keep in mind that your kids can put you in the test by telling only a small part of what they care about . Listen carefully and encourage them to keep talking so they can explain the rest of the story.