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6 Strategies For Effective Communication With Your Children

February 17, 2020

1: Avoid Dead-End Questions

When asking your kids questions, make sure you use the kind of questions that encourage interaction and extend the conversation instead of cutting it off. Do not go for questions that elicit one-word answers – yes or no. They quickly take the conversation to a dead end. Instead, use questions that will require your children to expound on their answers to elaborate, describe or explain what they say.

 

2: Extend The Conversation

Assess how your kids converse and pick a piece of their conversation on which you can respond to by asking a question. You can as well use it to restate something they said using some of the words or phrases they used. Doing so shows them that you were listening and this strengthens their confidence to confide in you. It also demonstrates to them that their ideas and opinions are valued.

 

3: Share Your Thoughts

Be open to your children about what you think of them. For instance, if you are wondering how to rearrange the living room, seek the kids’ input on the matter. You can do this by asking a question like, “I am having a hard time figuring out what to place where. What do you think will work best in which area of the room?”

 

4: Observe Signs

Learn how to read your children so that you can tell when they are indicating the need to end the discussion. One of the signs kids give is staring into space. Silly responses or repeating the same comments are also signs that you need to end the conversation.

 

5: Reflect Feelings

A good listener is one that can put themselves in the other person’s shoes and empathises with what the other shares – be it their thoughts or feelings. Parents should learn how to mirror their kids’ feelings. For instance, a parent can use a comment such as, “It seems you do not like your science teacher.” Such a statement reiterates the child’s feelings that they may not be fully aware of or want to share.

 

6: Help Clarify And Relate Experiences

Lastly, explain to your children that you understand their feelings and what they are saying but stating this in your words. Be expressive by using a broader vocabulary that your kids can emulate as accurately as possible in their different exchanges. Also, try and help them have a deeper understanding of your inner thoughts and your word choices.

 

If you’d like some additional guidance, don’t hesitate to contact family counselling specialist, Glenn Munt, by clicking here. 


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