How to effectively communicate with your children
- by Shruti Gokarn
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Effective communication is the foundation of any good relationship. We keep this in mind while interacting with adults. Why do we forget it when it comes to our children? If you want to forge a lifelong bond with your children makes it a point to communicate with them. Not just communicate but communicate effectively. So then, how to effectively communicate?
Avoid a presumptuous tone
Children are individuals in their own right, with feelings, thoughts and opinions of their own. Treat them as such. Don’t adopt a presumptuous tone while speaking to them, because if you do that you are discounting their opinions and feelings, leaving them feeling invalidated. This is not to say that you do everything that they ask of you, but make sure that you hear them out before pronouncing your decision.
Children are inquisitive by nature. Sometimes their questions leave us twiddling our fingers, wondering how to answer them. However difficult you may find it to answer their questions, don’t deal with them with a cop out or squash their enquiries with an irritable answer. Answer them to the best of your abilities and if you don’t know the answer or don’t know how to answer them, tell them you will get back to them later. But do remember to get back to them if you don’t want them to lose their faith in you.
Stop instilling fear
There is no doubt that children need to listen to their parents. But the question is… is instilling fear in them the only way to get them to do so? If fear-factor is a large part of your interaction with your child, you may end up distancing your child. The result of this is that you will end up closing communication channels with your child. There is nothing scarier for a child than not being able to communicate with their parents who are their first port of call in most situations.
Don’t be overly peremptory in your communication with your children. If you expect obedience, learn to communicate in a way which will produce that obedience. One way of doing is that is to be kind but firm with them. Another is to give them reasons for why you are asking them to do something, wherever possible.
Sow seeds of good communication from the beginning to nurture your relationship with your child so that it grows into a strong, well-rooted, shade giving tree.