The Parent to Child Communication Connection
Get advice on turning everyday conversations into thoughtful discussions that will strenghen the parent/child bond.
My oldest son is usually not interested in talking to me until dinnertime or later. Sometimes I have to force myself to keep my mouth shut until he is ready.
“A parent’s intuition is important in picking up whether a child wants to talk. But timing is critical, too,” says Dr. Kerzner. “The most favorite time for children to have heart-to-hearts with their parents is
at bedtime, while riding in the car, or when they are home sick. Although these may not be the best times for parents, we must all realize that quality communication with our children is very rare and extremely important.”
“You need to make the time to talk with your kids,” Faber advises. “Whether it is a private lunch together or a meeting behind closed doors, take opportunities for thoughtful one-to-one conversation with each of your kids.”
Are You Too Busy to Talk?
But what if you are busy when your child comes to you? Should you drop everything to let them talk ? If, as Dr. Kerzner describes, the home is the model for the outside world and the place where children learn how
to get along with others, having to wait to speak is an important lesson.
“Always being available for your child produces a child’s sense of always having his needs met. And that just isn’t the way life is,”explains Dr. Kerzner. “Even though a child may feel rejected when a
talk is postponed, that is the nature of life and something to be learned.”
Ask Leading Questions
Not every parent/child conversation will be based on strengthening the relationship. There are times when we need information. When my 10-year old son, Paul, came home ready to tear the house apart I needed to know what was troubling him. I certainly did not want to cause him more stress by asking him the wrong question, so I took Faber’s lead and commented that he was not acting like his usual calm self.
“Confirming the child’s feelings gives him options to make his own decision on how much he wants to say,”explains Faber. “Rather than quizzing him about the incident, acknowledge his demeanor, help him
identify his feelings, and be open to receive what he has to say.”
Paul revealed to me that he was upset that his teacher had been yelling at the class and had blamed him for something he had not done. Had I plied him with questions, I know he would never have shared so many
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