Talking is something any parent will do in their daily routine with their kids, but how you go about this will affect your relationship with your child. How you talk with your little one will determine how they feel comfortable opening up to you for the rest of their lives! Setting aside time to have conversations with your child in which you are talking and listening to them will show you care about what they have to say. Letting your child speak to you in a judgement-free, uninterrupted, and sensitive way will create a very strong bond.
Communication is crucial to building a strong relationship during any time, even difficult times. Your child should feel a sense of compassion and sensitivity when talking openly and honestly about feelings, even if they are not so easy such as feelings of anger, shame, or embarrassment. If a child feels a sense of trust and security with their parent, these times will be a little bit easier because they are more likely to listen when asked to do something. Communicating everyday with your kiddos creates a routine and comfortability which makes talking about more serious topics easier as well.
When communicating with your child, being conscious of the way you are speaking with them is always a good approach. Letting your child speak without interrupting or cutting in too soon is something that will benefit the communication. Throughout the conversation asking questions, rephrasing what has been said, and acknowledging how they seem to have been feeling based off of what they said are all positive listening strategies. Also, some children may have a hard time opening up and sharing how they feel, so learning their body language and creating an environment in which they may feel more comfortable sharing is always beneficial.
The Raising Children Network has much more information about the benefits of communicating with children, as well as techniques for the most efficient ways to communicate with children. To learn more, visit: