The Art Of Communication As A Parent
Ever since we were born, we feel the need to interact with our surroundings and especially the people around us. Our first attempts at communication were grunts and cries, which no one but our parents understood. Gradually, we graduated to using words and learnt to control how and when we express our emotions. And then, we become parents – adults responsible for understanding the difference between an “I’m sleepy” cry and an “I’m hungry” cry. And the cycle continues but what doesn’t change is the deep bond between a parent and a child.
All parents and children want to have a warm, loving and honest connection with each other. However, a lack of proper communication can often damage this bond. Thus, the responsibility of a parent is simple: build a base for open, compassionate and mindful communication with your child. Here are a few tips for effective communication with your child:
1. Get to know how your child communicates
Each child has their own way of expressing their emotions – some like to be alone when angry while others tend to throw tantrums. Don’t concentrate on the effects of the said anger, address its root.
Instead of “Stop throwing your toys!”, try “Instead of throwing your toys, how about you tell me why are you so angry?”
2. Be the role model
Kids do what they see their parents doing. When they see you apologising when you make a mistake, they’ll know there’s no shame in admitting mistakes.
Instead of “I was angry when I said it – I didn’t mean it”, try “I’m sorry about what I said when I was angry. It was wrong of me.”
3. Encourage your child to open up by opening up yourself
Communication is a two-way street. If you want your child to be honest with you, you need to be honest with them too (wherever possible.)
Instead of “How was your day?”, try “I had a very busy and tiring day today. What about you? What all did you do?”
4. Take out time to talk every day
You may have a tight schedule most of the time but you can take advantage of the seemingly trivial moments you have with your child to just talk with them. Making time for your kids will go a long way in making your child feel valued and heard.
Instead of “I’m too busy to talk right now.”, try “I can’t talk now. How about we talk over dinner?”
A loving parent-child relationship is built on compassionate communication. Taking time to consider how you communicate with your child will help you improve your relationship as a whole.