Counseling » Communication Tips

Communication Tips

As parents, allow your child the opportunity to share with you as much or as little as they choose, always leaving the message that when they are ready to share - you are ready to listen. This helps to keep the lines of communication open.

MAKE THE TIME. In today's complex world, it's even more important to make sure you set aside time to talk. That doesn't mean you have to hold a formal meeting. Sometimes the best discussions take place while you're driving the car or puttering around the kitchen.

LISTEN TO THE LITTLE STUFF. Kids will talk to you if they know you're going to listen. Be it about world peace or everyday things like schoolwork - if your kids know you're listneing, they're more likely to trust you enough to talk about what's happening in their lives.

LISTEN BETWEEN THE LINES. Because a lot of kids find it hard to talk to their parents about the things that really matter to them, parents have to pay special atttention to what their kids may be trying to say. It helps to pay particular attention to emotions - not just the emotion itself, but its intensity, too.

ASK THEIR OPINION. Few things please children (or anybody else) more than being asked their opinion. You don't always have to ask about the important issues.

DON'T INTERRUPT. In the Philips "Let's Connect" national survey, more than half the children said that when they spoke their parents often or sometimes didn't give them a chance to explain themselves. It's a good idea to give your children some extra time to explain their opinion or desires, even if you think you know what they're going to say.