How to establish open communication with children at home
In families where open communication is practiced, each member feels that he is loved and respected in the family circle. Open communication also helps to deal with emerging conflicts. This kind of communication is based on listening, empathy, support and joint problem solving.
Make communication with children your priority. Open and comfortable communication develops a child’s confidence, self-esteem, willingness to cooperate, as well as a healthy and warm relationship between you. Take the time and effort to develop your relationships and communication skills while talking with children as much as possible.
Remember that communicating with children is a two-way process. Talk to the child, and then listen to what he tells you. Listening is as important as speaking.
Take time to talk with each child separately. This is especially important if there is an age difference between your children. It happens that the older children do not let the younger ones say a word, and sometimes the younger children themselves do not dare to speak in the presence of the older ones. It happens that the youngest child does not understand what you are talking about with the older one. In addition, older children need to be motivated to communicate, during which they will learn something new, as well as ask questions for more information. Therefore, try to give time to each child separately to talk with each of them at his level. You can go to the park together, read a book before going to bed, or eat ice cream. No need to specifically set aside time for conversation, just use every opportunity that arises.
Ask your children open-ended questions, as it is this type of questions that will help improve communication with children. If you want your children to be more savvy and open to new ideas, do not ask them questions that can be answered in monosyllables – “yes” or “no”. Put questions that motivate the child to tell more, share his thoughts and feelings. For example, you should not ask: “Did you like a friend’s birthday party?” Better ask: “What do you remember about your birthday?” Keep up the conversation when the child answers your questions. Thanks to this, he will understand: you are interested in what he tells. Use these phrases:
Empathy is what everyone wants, but few know how to give or receive. In a world where everyone is obsessed with satisfying their needs, people really lack empathy. And this is another reason to teach children empathy in relation to others.
Many confuse empathy and empathy, but these two qualities are based on different values. Empathy is not just the ability to understand the feelings of another person. For example, criminals often strive for this in order to rub themselves into a person’s trust. Empathy is more than that. This is not only the ability to recognize the feelings of another person, but also respect for them. To show empathy is to treat others with kindness, understanding and respect.
Many children are nature-friendly, but in many cases they need an example of empathy from the parents or other adults who surround them. It all starts with the attitude of parents to their children. If parents take care of the children, are interested in things that are important to them, and also positively accept the emotions of the children, they learn empathy.
Finally, during the day, parents should take a few minutes to praise the child for something or simply say to him: “I love you.”