Remember when you couldn't get your child to stop talking? Those were the days you probably wish you could go back to now that your child's no longer as chatty as before. Effective communication is key to a healthy relationship, but sometimes, when your child comes home tired from school or play, he may not be able to share meaningful conversations with you.
Here are some tricks to prevent communication gap between you and your growing child.
Create a safe environment
It is important for your child to feel comfortable enough to come to you when something is bothering him or if there's something he needs to talk about. Constantly let your child know that you're there for him if ever he needs a listening ear. If you notice your child is stressed or distraught, try redirection through gentle probing. If it gets too difficult for your child to talk, ask him to draw or write a note instead.
Make conversation fun
Ask simple questions. If your child just came home from a playdate or a day at the park, let him wind down first. Inquire about particular parts of his day through specific questions. You can also share bits of your day that are similar to his.
Some of the things you could ask him include:
Did anyone bring something unusual at lunch?
What's one thing you did well today?
What did you do during recess?
Listen and pay attention
Teach your kid empathy and respect by showing him the importance of listening. A lot of things demand a parent's attention nowadays, but stopping to listen to your child will make him feel important. Listen sincerely and attentively, and remember that communication is a two-way process. Try not to interrupt your child while he's talking.
Think before you speak
Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you won't be able to hold your tongue. If your child has done something to upset you, it's best to let heightened emotions pass first before you engage in a conversation with him. If you speak while things are still pretty heated, your child might not be able to see past the emotions. Let off steam first, and then explain. Your child will understand you better when you're calm.
Guide, don't direct
Keepa sensible distance between yourself and your child. Ask for his opinion, give him options, and let him make a decision. For example, it is better to ask him if he prefers to do his homework after washing up or if he'd rather wash up first before doing homework. This way, you involve him in the decision making, make him feel empowered, and help him realize that what he says matters.
Show your child you trust him and believe he can sort things out on his own
Let your kid handle a couple of responsibilities. In this digital era, for example, there are tools like PLDT DSL Share On where you have control over how much data is available on your child's mobile device. This will help him understand responsibility and it will also enable him to share what he wants on his own terms. Giving him just the right amount of freedom, in this case, to use the Internet, will make him more conscious about the decisions he makes. You will also be able to establish a bond between him and you, wherever he may be.
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