It’s not an easy task for parents to talk to their child, because of the pressing responsibilities that are on their shoulders. For parents, having kids is a beautiful, and at the same time, an exhausting experience. At times, they aren’t interested in what the kids are up to. Mostly, this results in a negative pattern which, if not acted upon immediately, can be the ultimate cause behind the reticent kids who want to be just left alone.
Kids do tend to open up a bit, at irregular intervalsto test whether the parent is listening to them or is keen to taking them seriously. If at these instances they see distracted parents, who are neck-deep in other things, kids end up not bothering them anymore.
There are few things, to keep in check if parents want to have a positive communication with their children:
- Be here, be present:
There are always zillion things to be taken care of, no matter where you are and what you are indulged in. But coming to your child, all these things need to fade away in the background if any of your child approaches you to talk. Stop staring at your laptop, phone or any other action that is hindering you to communicate with the child. A child shouldn’t feel that something else is parent’s priority than him.
- Be on the same level and maintain eye contact:
We have seen the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge, going down on their knees to listen to what Prince George has to say. It is known as ‘Active listening’ that helps the child to know that he and his opinions matter. It helps in instilling a confidence in the child, and makes him more open to the conversations.
It is a gesture on the part of the parents that implies to the children; whatever they want to share their parents will be all ears, no matter what the other circumstances they’re surrounded with.
- Talking to your children should be a daily routine:
In order to have a positive communication, parents need to start talking to their kids from the early stages of their lives. And eventually, it would become a routine.
If you want your kids to understand something really important and act accordingly, don’t do it in front of others. Like if there are guests expected, parents start lecturing their kids about etiquette and go on and on. If you want to talk to your child it should be a casual one, not forced.
- Recognize the way your child communicates:
It differs from child to child, the way they communicate with their parents.Some kids are loquacious about things they want their parents to know about, like how their days was, what did they like and what are the things that put them off, while some prefer to be mute about what is causing them problems. In both the cases parents can help their kids, by listening to them attentively or by being beside them sharing their silence.
It soothes the child when they know that they can rely on their parents, even in the toughest of the situations. Acknowledging their feelings could be the best gift you can give them.
- To know more, ask specific questions:
Sometimes kids tend to become way too quiet and hesitate to talk. It is the parent’s responsibility to assure them that they will not be judged or loved any less. The underlining element of all the conversations that take place between parents and kids should directly or indirectly tell kids that parents will love them unconditionally irrespective of their opinions and ideas.
- Have conversations in privacy, unless you feel the importance of involving others:
It is better to have a one to one conversation with your kids. It is more likely that they’ll open up about their feelings and emotions. If they’re being questioned in front of a bunch of people they will not only be tongue tied but also more reluctant to answer.
It isgoodto have a space in home, where it is peaceful and calm. The surroundings are crucial when there is a need to talk about or vent out some inner feelings.
- Don’t imbibe negativity, only positivity helps:
When your kid starts talking about an incident or the way it made him feel, just try to understand and respond accordingly. Don’t get started on the awful things that have happened to you or to someone else that you know. Instead, help the child re-evaluate their feelings and unburden themselves.
Talking through things will help them get over any uneasiness.The more positively parents respond, the more it will be beneficial for them. Avoid generalizing what they’re feeling and let them have their say.
Parents have a vital role in helping kids understand their feelings and this helps in strengthening the bond between them. There is sound evidence from research that families which openly talk about emotions and feelings, kids from these families have healthier relationships, they are academically successful and exhibit far more happiness in general than the ones which are rigid and reserved.
All it takes for a positive communication is an open mind, backed with unconditional love for your kid. So, go to your children, give them a hug and talk to them.