As parents, we often say things to our children without considering how they might take it. Although we may mean one thing, our children sometimes get a totally different meaning out of what we say. This can be the result of many factors. We have to remember that communication goes much deeper than words we speak. When we display body language, give certain facial expressions, or even act a certain way, we ate communicating to our child. All of the different ways we communicate play a part in how our children take in the message we are actually trying to send. There are things we should remember when communicating with our children.
When we talk to our children, we should use phrases that invite them to say more. Whatever the topic, try to say things that open the door for more conversation. Ask questions and actually listen for an answer. This lets children know that we want to hear what they have to say and that we are willing to listen.
We should also try using the word “I” instead of “you”. Rather than pointing out negative behavior, explain how their actions make you feel. When the word “you” is over-used, it begins to seem like finger-pointing. Most of the time, this gets ignored or causes rebellion.
When having a conversation with our child, we should use nice body language. We should always try to use body language that is inviting, welcoming and comforting. Our children are more likely to listen and join in on the conversation if they feel comfortable. There are ways to let our children know that we are serious without showing mean or threatening body language.
In times of frustration, these techniques may be difficult to use. This is why we should take a moment and think things through before speaking to our children about something that is becoming an issue.
Photo by Roney Sampaio on Flickr