Date Posted: 22/05/2020
It’s a common fact that communicating with children is not as easy as counting 1,2,3. It can be quite complicated. Experts suggest three essential tips to make it easier. They are; listening, showing interest, setting boundaries, and learning to compromise. Here are simple techniques to tackle more of those 4 essential tips on communicating well with kids.
1. Find time to communicate.
Effective communication is not about half-hearted grunts or sudden phrases. You should dedicate time intended for conversation. Ideally, that time should be free from other obligations or distractions. Turn off all devices like phones, TV, and computers. While communicating with your child. It’s essential to make eye contact. This is a gesture that you are listening to your child and encourages open communication.
Be a good listener by letting your child say what they want to say without interrupting. Wait for a moment before responding. This will allow your child to articulate responses of their own.
2. Show interest
Start conversing by asking how your child’s day was and listen to their answer. It’s not helpful to ask if you are busy doing something else, be attentive to their answers.
It is also great to involve yourself in your child’s hobbies, but not too much. It’s better to ask a child how you can help with their hobbies rather than to do it for them.
Show that you are listening and interested by rephrasing what your child said. This will also allow them to clear the things you may have misunderstood.
Be open-minded about your child’s opinions and ideas. Your child might not be capable of being open-minded, but you are. Be mindful of over validating your child’s thoughts and feelings, allow them to see different perspectives and ideas.
3. Set boundaries
You must set boundaries between what should be and should not be tolerated. Communication requires openness, but there should be limits and boundaries in between. It is great to treat your child as an equal, but make sure they still know your role as a parent.
It is also great to say a gentle and firm “no”. Let children identify acceptable behaviours in different situations. Children must understand that every “no” is not a negative answer; it ensures that they are not always able to get what they want. Set limitations and boundaries clearly and outline the reasons for your decision. This is an excellent way to show open communication.
4. Learn to compromise
Exchange conversation with kids in an orderly manner. Help them understand the importance of waiting for someone to finish talking before responding. Giving alternatives is an excellent example of compromising when saying “no” to your child. It is also great to involve your child in decision-making. This will build your child’s decision-making skills.
The most effective way to communicate well with kids is to have daily interactions with them. Model mindfulness and show your kids how to be present, and they will copy.