Parenting Tip Of The Week: Effective Communication...

One of the best ways to ensure that your child or teen will communicate with you is to create a home environment where they feel safe and comfortable to share what's going on in their lives and where they feel that they are listened to and not simply heard. So how can parents go about creating an environment where communication takes place in the home? Here are some helpful tips.

7 Keys to Creating Communication Within Your Home
  1. When your child or teen begins a conversation with you, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Your child wants, and needs, your undivided, complete attention. When talking with him or her, put down the laptop, turn off the television, or silence the cell phone. You'll be amazed at what you hear when you actually focus on listening.
  2. Eye contact is key. It's hard to tell if someone is paying attention if they're reading the newspaper and responding with random "Uh-huh"s as you talk. Look your child in the eye to ensure that they have your complete attention when they're talking to you.
  3. Comment on what you heard. So many times our children & teens are sharing something because they are looking for our advice. You don't always have to give them the easy answer, or even give them a "yes" or "no" but commenting on what you think you are hearing from them is a great way to foster communication. A good way to do this is to use a statement like this: "I hear you saying _____. Is that what you are saying/mean?"
  4. Spend time together. There is nothing like simply doing life together that fosters relationships where good communication can grow.
  5. Praise, praise, praise. Your child/teen receives criticism and judgement from so many sources. Be sure to give praise when praise is due!
  6. Admit when you've blown it. If you mess up in your relationship with your kid, admit it! They know it already! And you being able to admit it will build trust in the relationship that will open up lines of communication in the future.
  7. Be an askable parent. There are times when parenting requires that you take disciplinary action and make judgements. But you also want to make sure that your child or teen know that they can approach you when they need help and that you'll react in a non-judgemental way, helping them solve their problems.

Be sure to check this blog later in the week for the Parenting Resource of the week!

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