As children get older they begin to spend more time with friends and less time with parents. Students share information, problems and successes with peers and rarely speak with their parents. Sometimes parents are the last to know that their children are being bullied, having difficulties with school work, making friends or getting along. They wonder why their children do not share information, problems or successes with them. Generally parents and children want the same thing. They want to be happy, they want to be liked and they want to be successful. Why don’t parents communicate with their children? Often parents do not know how to communicate with their children. Children who have good relations and open communication with their parents usually get better grades, have friends, are less likely to bully or be bullied and get along overall better in school. Here are 7 ways to get your child to talk with you.
- Be available to speak with your child.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your child.
- Choose a time when your child is open to talking.
- Turn off all TVs, videos, radios, cell phones, computers and all electronics.
- Have family meetings.
- Ask your child, what are your concerns and what do you want me to do?
- Be sure there is a positive outcome for the child no matter the problem.
1. Be available to speak with your child.
You must be ready to respond when your child is ready to talk. You have to make yourself available. This may mean putting something else off to meet the needs of your child.
2. Have family meetings.
Set aside time on a regular basis to meet with the entire family. On the weekends, after school, after dinner might be a good time. Communication should be open and 2 way with rules that what is said and shared will not be judged but worked on as a family.
3. Turn off TVs, videos, radios, cell phones, computers and all electronics..
There should be no distractions while your child is sharing information, stories, problems, or chatting. A simple chat may be the beginning to sharing some important information.
4. Keep the lines of communication open with your child.
You start the conversation. It is important to let your children know that you want to talk and that you are there for them no matter the situation or difficulty. Make them feel open and welcome to share anything with you.
5. Ask your child, what are there concerns and what would they like you to do.
Be prepared to listen to their difficulties and concerns without becoming, angry, sad or disappointed. What your child will say might shock or surprise you. Be prepared to handle the situation calmly and skillfully.
6. Choose a time when your child is open to talking.
Some good times to meet with your child might be before bed; while riding in the car; after school; or after they come in at night. Choose with your child an appropriate time for you and your child to talk. Make a commitment that you both will honor.
7. Be sure there is a positive outcome for the child no matter the problem..
Explore options and alternative solutions that both you and the child can agree. Brainstorm with your child several scenarios and outcomes. Narrow them down and together come up with the best solution.