Developing Good Communication with your Child

Parental guidance

Developing good communication with your child is important for building a strong relationship and fostering positive development, especially for your teen.

When children are upset or emotionally out of sorts, it’s not the time to argue with them. When they scream or yell or throw things around, it’s not time to explain to them about the rules. At such a time, they are shutting themselves off as their emotions are completely out of control. It is definitely not the time to lecture or explain the rules or expect any apologies or demand an apology for their bad behaviour. Anything you might say would not really be heard or understood properly. The child is so overwhelmed with by their feelings that their emotional state is on overload.

Information is not understood or observed properly. It’s only when things have returned to normal that reminders of family rules and expectations can be explained or re enforced. A child needs to be attentive and calm to understand and process information correctly. This should be done in a loving and understanding manner. Parents need to hold back from jumping in too quickly.

The best way to teach children is to listen to them.

raising children
raising happy children

Helping our children through angry, sad or difficult moments can be difficult to manage as a parent, and some parental guidance is needed.

It’s important to establish good everyday words of communication that are spoken without judgemental or shaming words that can so easily crush a child’s esteem.  Often we as parents don’t give our children clear instructions. But we can fall into the trap of using bribery or threatening to punish or compromise a situation, simply to bring about a child’s compliance with what they have been asked to do.

Below is a list of some words and phrases that parents often use to get their child to do what’s been asked of them

“Stop whining and crying like a baby…

I’ve had it with you.  Do you want to go to your room?…

If you finish all your vegies, you can …..

OK do that again and you will be very sorry….

You’re causing me to get angry. (tone of voice)….

It’s not a big deal, you will get over it in time…

Oh, just stop doing that…

You have to do it, because I said so…

You’re whining again…

You’ll get something special if you finish all your dinner…

See how your sister is behaving ?  Why can’t you do that?…

No means no because I said so…

OK, forget what I said, we’ll do it your way or

We will do it next time… “

All of these behavioural communication expressions have very confusing messages attached to them.

Children learn very quickly that you will eventually ‘give in” if they persist long enough or that sometimes you are harder on them than their sibling.

They learn that…

you don’t listen

you change your mind and they are never quite sure what they can get away with or…

after the count of 3 you won’t really do anything

you cave in easily

you are always watching and judging them

they always feel critiqued

they think that they always misbehaving

Children feel so overwhelmed by rules and regulations that are always changing and not followed through on. Parents’ mixed messages are confusing to them and they can become confused and irritable and sometimes angry out of frustration.

Here are some tips for improving communication with your child:

Create a safe space: Make sure your child feels comfortable and safe to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or punishment.

Listen actively: Show your child that you are interested in what they have to say by giving them your full attention and responding thoughtfully to their comments.

Ask open-ended questions: Instead of asking yes or no questions, ask questions that encourage your child to elaborate on their thoughts and feelings.

Use age-appropriate language: Tailor your language to your child’s developmental level so they can better understand what you’re saying.

Be patient: Sometimes children need time to articulate their thoughts, so give them the space and time to express themselves.

Validate their feelings: Even if you don’t agree with your child’s perspective, acknowledge their feelings and let them know that their emotions are valid.

Avoid criticism: Avoid criticizing or judging your child for their thoughts or feelings. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and encouraging their growth.

By implementing these strategies, you can create a healthy and open line of communication with your child, that will benefit them throughout their lives.

All communication with your child needs to be simple, unambiguous, encouraging and positive.

Young Children and Communication