It is very important for parents to be able to communicate openly and effectively with their children. Open, effective communication benefits not only the children, but every member of the family. Relationships between parents and their children are greatly improved when there is effective communication taking place.
Children learn how to communicate by watching their parents. If parents communicate openly and effectively, chances are that their children will, too. Good communication skills will benefit children for their entire lives. Children begin to form ideas and beliefs about themselves based on how their parents communicate with them. When parents communicate effectively with their children, they are showing them respect. Children then begin to feel that they are heard and understood by their parents, which is a boost to self-esteem. On the other hand, communication between parents and children that is ineffective or negative can lead children to believe that they are unimportant, unheard, or misunderstood. Such children may also come to see their parents as unhelpful and untrustworthy.
Parents who communicate effectively with their children are more likely to have children who are willing to do what they are told. Such children know what to expect from their parents, and once children know what is expected of them, they are more likely to live up to these expectations. They are also more likely to feel secure, which can lead to being more cooperative.
Ways To Communicate Positively With Children
- Start communicating effectively while children are young.
- Communicate at your children’s level.
- Learn how to really listen
- Make and maintain eye contact
- Eliminate distractions
- Let your children know they have been heard
- Keep conversations brief
- Express your own feelings and ideas when communicating with children
- Admit it when you don’t know something
- Try and make explanations complete
Effective, open communication takes a lot of hard work and practice. Parents should remember that they will not be perfect. Parents make mistakes. What is important is that parents make the effort to effectively communicate with their children starting when their children are very young. The result will be a much closer, positive relationship between parents and their children.