As children get older, they start to notice how to communicate effectively with others. They learn about many forms of self-expression. We know that these abilities will be beneficial both now and in the future. However, if you think about it more deeply, you’ll realize that communication is not only important, it’s essential. It’s an absolute requirement. When children learn to communicate effectively, they get access to new opportunities.
Communicating with youngsters assists them in forging their path. As you chat and interact with children, they begin to grasp the concept of communication. They begin to recognize the importance of expressing their emotions. Kids can also begin to develop a more effective method of interacting with their peers.
When you have conversations with your children, you’re allowing them to try out a new method of interacting with others. Children learn from their interactions with you. Working on strategies to improve your children’s talents is one of the best things you will ever do for them.
In this article, let’s look at some ways you can build a deep connection with your kids through conversations:
1. Asking open-ended questions
In the hustle of disciplining our children, we often tend to forget one thing – engaging and forming a connection with them. In addition to doing everything in your responsibility as a parent, try having at least one open-ended conversation with them where they can just be themselves.
Through the means of these conversations, ask about their opinions, and make them open up about things they enjoy. Ask questions like – What did you like most about that movie? Who is your favorite person other than your best friend? Who’s your favorite teacher and why? Who’s your least favorite teacher? Why don’t you like him/her?
Indulging in such conversations with your children will show them that you are eager to listen to their ideas and are looking out for them.
2. Body language
Body language greatly influences how communication is perceived. Children strive hard to get their views through to us even before they begin to speak! They ask for a bottle of milk or a toy that has vanished by wailing aloud. They react to your “peek-a-boo” game with surprised expressions. They show you how happy they are to be with you by clapping their hands.
Many times, the way we conduct ourselves and express, doesn’t exactly convey the message we’re trying to put out. Our non-verbal expressions a.k.a body language has huge control over how the other person judges us and the situation..
Here’s how you can do it – use open hand gestures to show your enthusiasm, put away your phone and give them your undivided attention, look into their eyes and nod constantly assuring them that you are listening, and touch their arm or hold their hand making them feel comfortable.
3. Talk about topics that interest them
A strong bond with your kid will not happen overnight. Take it slow and build a relationship. Talk to your kids about things other than their homework, tests, etc. Talk about their friends, favorite activities, etc. Get to know your kids, and their likes and dislikes. Ask them about their opinion regarding something. Make sure it is a non-threatening conversation. You want your child to respond more than just a yes or no. Connect with them on their level.
4. Try to just listen instead of giving advice constantly
Don’t constantly be a parent trying to discipline them or teach them something when your child is telling you something. Your child would appreciate it if you sometimes just listen to what they have to say.
Everyone needs someone to listen to them. Be that person for your child. Let them know you are here for them. Make them feel safe enough that they can talk about anything to you. Constantly lecturing or nagging your child will turn them off. Even if you are open to any conversation your child might assume an adverse or preachy reaction from you and will avoid talking to you. You do not have to give your opinion about everything without being asked. If your child wishes to know how you feel about a certain situation, they will let you know.
5. Engage regularly
Like I said earlier, a strong bond does not happen overnight. It is a process and you cannot skip steps. Go slow but be consistent. Talk to your kids every day. Keep it casual. Don’t force a conversation on them or yourself. Let things naturally flow. Talk about how school was after they are home. Avoid academic questions since you might not get a lot out of kids regarding that. Ask questions about small things that they care about.
Dedicate yourself to this and try to engage every day. Talk at the dining table every day. Get to know about their day. Be excited with them for small things like dance recitals or programs in school.
Communication is a part of your child’s development process. The way they express themselves is very vital as a grown-up. You are helping them excel in this skill while creating a strong bond with your child.
If you are struggling and don’t know where to start, The Confident Communicator has made it easy for parents with a fabulous product called The Conversation Cards: Family Fun. This is a box of 100 cards with fun, quirky and thought provoking questions that act as conversation starters for even the most reluctant participant. Buy the set here to help you start the communication and conversation journey with your child.
Every conversation you have with your child is a crucial conversation that is helping you build a long lasting bond, trust and open communication gateway that you both will cherish.