All through life at different stages, communication is important. When our children are young we talk to them and engage them in conversations, often asking how was their day, what did you do, or what did you learn? Usually you'll get an ear full in the early years and as they grow it becomes a one word response. Good. OK. Alright and from my experience, nothing!. As a parent myself and this is all just my own opinion, I think that it's so important to communicate. To communicate by words, by actions, by writing and by art. While our kids were growing up, I told them that if they couldn't talk to me about something, to write it down, put it in a journal, get it off your chest. I mean after all, we were never young once, right! The truth is that the world has changed and will continue to change, one thing remains the same though, to be there for our family, to do our best to raise our children and to be open minded or you may hit a brick wall.
When I grew up at home, and a parent asked us to do something, we usually did it without arguing. When the rules were in place we usually followed them. In school, the classroom was much different, when we acted out the teacher sent us to stand in the hallway, and if our misconduct continued we were sent to the principals office. Those were much simpler times, families, schools and communities face many more challenges. It's still up to us, the adult to be there, to do our best and to raise balanced children the best we know how. Here are a few ideas on how to get your children to communicate:
1. Try not to judge the situation right off the bat, listen first
2. Be a constant reinforcement to your child of love and trust
3. Create an environment that your child is comfortable with
4. Together, make a journal that the family can communicate in, leave it in a space readily available
5. Let your child make their own journal
6. Provide art supplies, provide writing materials and keep them readily available
7. Read stories on communication to reinforce the importance
8. Make communications fun, don't just communicate during off times
9. Let your children see how you communicate with others
10. Don't shut them out, their thoughts and feelings are important to them
Just to emphasize on number ten, don't shut them out. I speak from experience. No matter how petty you think your child's issue is, trust me, it's huge to them. Let them share it with you, let them communicate with you their thoughts and feelings and you will build from there. You're not only building a lasting relationship with your child, you're building trust, teaching all of the above mentioned in the graphic, too.
Believe me when I say that they are listening to you, watching your actions and modeling your behaviors. Again, I speak from experience. When raising our children, my husband was a carpenter and home as much as I'd have liked. I was home with them all day long, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. But, to communicate to my husband how it was, I explained it like this:
"You leave for work to remodel a kitchen, or build something. You can stand back at the end of the day and see the progress that you've made. I am building all day long with our kids and I have no idea what the results will be." He understood this rather than saying, "Oh my gosh" on an off day.
Married with children since 1981. Love working with children and sharing the Characters of Character.