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Effective communication is so vital in every part of life, but when it comes to parenting, it is even more crucial to be able to communicate well. A lack of communication can cause a range of different issues and impair the family dynamic. When communication is ineffective, you may find that the family connection is weakened, and it is harder to maintain close relationships. But, when communication is effective, it enables everyone in the family to discuss their feelings and opinions and allows them to express themselves and their needs.
Being able to communicate their feelings and opinions is a skill that will benefit children throughout their lives, from childhood through to their adult years. There are so many benefits that being able to communicate brings. Excellent communication skills can help kids feel confident expressing themselves and realize that their feelings are valid and listened to. In turn, this allows kids to be more open with you and gives you a better insight into what they are feeling and whether anything is worrying them. Here are some of the ways you can improve communication with your kids:
Address Communication Difficulties
If you notice that your child’s ability to communicate falls behind that of their peers, you may be concerned that this is an issue. Young children all develop at different rates, so it is worth keeping this in mind. However, struggling to make themselves understood can be incredibly frustrating for children and can harm their confidence. If you have concerns about their speech, then it is worth looking for the best speech therapist in your area to gain a professional opinion. Getting a specialist opinion will enable you to find the best ways to support your child and help them to make themselves understood and communicating effectively.
Screentime and kids is a subject that receives a lot of attention. Many parents worry that their kids receive too much screentime and actively try to reduce this. When used in moderation, screen time can bring educational benefits, but when watching television and using screens becomes a habit, it can negatively impact family life. When everyone is using their phones, tablets, and other devices, it is almost impossible to hold a conversation as every family member is in their own world and engrossed in what they are watching.
Reducing screentime in your home is an excellent way to open up more opportunities for conversation and ensure that everyone keeps communicating. You may find it helpful to introduce specific times when kids are able to use their tech so that you have firm boundaries in place and everyone knows where they stand. With screentime limited, there should be plenty more opportunities to chat with your kids.
Do you ever find that you try to chat with your kids and are met with grunts or one-word answers? Many kids dislike the constant questions parents ask, even though they are meant with the best of intentions. Simply asking how was school today can be met with a no response, or a simple ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘I can’t remember.’ Instead, you may want to try a different method of engaging your child in conversation. Asking your child to tell them one great thing that happened at school today or what games did you play at recess can spark a conversation and encourage your child to open up about their day.
Don’t Forget to Listen
If you always seem busy, your kids may feel reluctant to chat with you as they think you won’t have time to listen or will not be interested in what they say. Making yourself available when your child wants to talk should help to keep communication between you open and let them know that they can talk to you whenever they like. Being available to listen is crucial to ensure that your child comes to you when they are experiencing problems. Worries that may seem unimportant and trivial to you can feel like a big deal to children, and if they feel like their concerns are being dismissed, they may be less likely to speak to you in the future if there is a problem. Knowing that they can talk openly and be listened to is a big deal for kids and will help them to increase their self-esteem and grow into confident adults.
Maintaining communication within the family unit is not always easy when everyone has busy lives, but it is crucial to keep your relationships healthy.