"I talk and talk and talk to my kids, but they never listen to me!" You've probably heard this statement spoken in exasperation over a cup of coffee with a friend or during a phone call with your sister. You may have even uttered it to yourself in a moment of weakness. How can you talk to your kids and be sure they really listen?
They're All Ears
If you want to build solid communication with your kids, you may have to do a little work in how you talk to them. Many times, parents become frustrated because their questions produce quick answers that don't provide any conversational depth. If you want to get a conversation going-and keep it going-incorporate these tips into your bag of parental tricks:
- Formulate questions carefully. Ask your child very specific questions to get specific answers.
- See eye to eye. In order to put your child more at ease, get down on his or her level. Speak to each other while seated on the floor or in a chair.
- Keep it simple. When you're speaking to your child, remember that little ones are often at ease with easy answers. Offering a lengthy answer could be confusing.
- Make a choice. When possible, offer your kids a choice. Instead of just serving up vegetables for dinner, say something like: "You can eat either broccoli or carrots tonight. Which one do you prefer?"
- Write it down. Your tweens and teens may respond better to a little note about a chore than they would to a nagging reminder. Try placing a sticky note on their bedroom door.
|The Art of Listening
There is a flipside to getting your children to listen to you-you must listen to them, too. If you aren't sure how to best let your little one know her feelings matter, don't worry. There are simple steps you can take to let your child know you're listening.
Lending an Ear
Try incorporating some of these techniques when listening to your child:
- Make the time. When you want to really listen to your child, take a moment to stop what you're doing and give your child all of your attention.
- Repeat for impact. Repeating what your child says to you back to him or her can reinforce the fact that you're listening.
- Be specific. Get to the root of your child's problems by asking thoughtful questions.
This article, provided by My Health Publisher, can be viewed here.