Encouraging healthy communication between parents and kids

Yahoo Contributor Network

If you are like so many other parents, you envy the open relationship that other parents seem to have with their kids. These other parents may have regular conversations with their kids, and they always seem to be aware of what their kids are up to. However, you may fall into the other group of parents, and these are parents who compare talking to their kids with talking to a brick wall. It can seem like pulling teeth to get their kids to talk about their day in more than one-word sentences. So how can you turn your relationship with your kids around and encourage healthy communication with them?

Put Down the Technology. One of the reasons kids often say they don't talk to their parents is that they don't feel their parents are truly interested in them. Consider if you ask your kids about their day when the TV is on, when you have your cell phone in your hand or are staring at your laptop screen. Give your kids your undivided attention, and you may find they are more willing to open up.

Avoid Being Judgmental. As a parent, it is your responsibility to talk to discipline and guide your kids, so you can't really be their friend. However, if kids feel as though you will punish them or judge them for what they tell you, they may not tell you anything at all. Consider choosing your responses carefully when they do finally open up to you.

Create Alone Time. Some kids find talking to their parents to be a completely awkward experience. It is common for parents and kids to be incredibly close in a child's younger years, but as time passes, it may feel like a wedge has formed between the two of you. Kids and parents inevitably spend less time together as a child gets older, and at times, it may seem as though the two of you barely know each other. Plan to spend time together with your child on a regular basis. Schedule a weekly outing for lunch or dinner, head to the park to toss a ball around or something else entirely. The goal will be to get the two of you together so open sharing is less awkward.

This tips may not solve all of your communication issues with your child, but they will go a long way toward helping you achieve the level of communication you really want.

Here are a few other articles written by this author:

How Positive is Your Parenting?

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Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In

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