Talking with kids…
Parents are often confronted with roadblocks when communicating with their children. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, there will be frustrations with communication.
Tips for Talking with Kids of All Ages:
- Communicate expectations with clear guidelines and boundaries.
- Maintain a controlled demeanor and calm tone of voice when talking with kids; avoid sarcasm.
- Communicate with empathy, honesty, patience, flexibility, respect, and openness.
- Remain consistent with your values, responses, decision making, and disciplining.
- Give your child time to unwind after school before jumping into a conversation.
- Use meal time, car time, everyday opportunities, and family time for dialogue.
- Use reflective listening when talking with kids; reflect back emotions and/or content of what is expressed.
- Maintain good eye contact, appropriate language, and warmth.
- If you are agitated, count to 10; communicate when you are calmer.
- Create an accepting, open environment.
- Make yourself available and accessible.
- Give yourself time to respond.
- Be real; don’t claim to be perfect.
- Be as non-judgmental as possible.
- Don’t bombard your child with questions.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Don’t beg for responses.
- Don’t lecture.
- Look for the humor in situations.
- Apologize when appropriate.
- Don’t be intimidated by a child’s attempt to create guilt feelings.
- Share some of your day.
- Live the golden rule.
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