Positive, clear, and undistorted communication is the key to a healthy relationship between individuals. The exciting and easy-flowing conversation is the bedrock of building intimacy and establishing connections between people. Communicating effectively with children is the secret to transmitting positive values and developing good character in children. When communication breaks down between parents and their children, the impact parents have on their children is significantly diminished.
In view of the above facts, it is important that parents devise effective strategies for proper communication with their children. In order for parents to establish the necessary connection with their children and communicate with them effectively, it is essential that they become involved in the welfare and care of their children from the time of birth. Parents must take caution to ensure they do not stand aloof from their children, including all the little childish things that interest them. Play their games with them. Show them you are equally interested in what interests them and that you are happy when they have fun.
Cuddling, tickling, smiling, and laughing with them, striking an everyday mundane conversation with them, and being friendly with them while maintaining necessary discipline will gradually lead to the development of an enduring intimate relationship with your children; the type that allows them to be free with you and reveal intimate things about themselves that you may not have known about.
Children always want to have a warm and loving connection with each of their parents, and the key to this is effective communication. The following strategies are essential in stimulating effective communication with children.
Give free and unrestricted access
Ensure you give them free access to you and your personal space as much as possible. When children know that you love their company and that they can always approach you to freely express themselves without fear, you enhance their sense of well-being and fortify their confidence in themselves. When they can spend some quiet moments in your company without feeling threatened, it encourages them to loosen up and be free to converse and confide in you.
Be an active listener
Whenever your children are talking to you, listening attentively to what they have to say is very crucial to their sense of self-worth. This requires that you, as much as you can afford, lay aside anything you might be doing at the moment to pay attention to them. Attitudes such as staring at your phone, or laptop, or continuing to read a book while they are trying to get your attention make them feel that whatever they have to say is not important or valued. When you listen attentively to your child, you make that child feel loved and valued.
Create a non-judgmental atmosphere for communication
Children are less likely to talk if they feel they will be harshly reprimanded or punished for what they have to say. Parents must restrain themselves from being judgmental about their children. You should avoid getting angry or rushing to conclusions regarding anything your children tell you.
Spend quality time with them
Many parents believe they are too busy to spend enough time with their children. It must be realized that intimacy develops between people as they spend quality time together. If by your attitude, you do not show you enjoy the company of your children, then they are likely to withdraw from you as time goes on, and by the time they become adults, they may be estranged from you. Make it a point of duty to frequently spend uninterrupted one-on-one time with each of your children. Family gatherings where everyone is present to interact with one another, share jokes and experiences can also be very valuable in building intimacy and establishing a connection. The effort you put into these frequent interactions will pay off boundlessly in the future.
Be a good role model
As parents, we need to model healthy communication in front of our children. The way they see you interact with them and with other people is likely to be the way they will learn to interact with people as well. Children learn more from what they see their parents do than what they tell them. It is therefore important that you use kind words and a soft tone of voice in your interaction with them and other people. That way, you will be teaching them how to be cordial in their interactions with others.
Let your interactions be appropriate
Some of the most unhelpful ways of communicating with children are through ridicule, shaming, and name-calling. This will likely lead to disconnection and serious problems in the parent-child relationship. Parents should make an effort to use kind words in their interactions with their children. Children who are spoken to with appreciation and respect grow to become self-confident.
The above strategies are important if you are to get your children to freely communicate with you other than with one-word answers. Your children will feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with you. This will strengthen the relationship and communicating with your children will stop being a struggle.