Friday, September 19, 2008

Getting Children to Listen When You Need Them To

Studies have shown that if you take the time out to listen to your children and talk to them for about a quarter of an hour every day, you can open up channels of communication that will end up lasting a whole lifetime. This will be a lifesaver during the difficult teenage years.

Getting to communicate with your children isn't that difficult but it takes a fair amount of patience understanding and practice as well. Depending on how old your child is, they may be perfectly willing to share details with you about their personal lives and the friends that they keep. Children who are in preschool and elementary school love to give their parents a detailed report of activities they enjoy with their friends. You should this eagerness that they have in their youth to set a stage for the future.

When children grown up, the eagerness they have to share their thoughts and feelings reduce. Getting information about what happened in school becomes subject to grunts and shrugs with plenty of "nothings" in between. This may seem rather normal at this point in their development but it doesn't mean that you should give up on trying discussing the life of your child. They need a connection although their bid for independence is affecting their need to create a stronger bond with you.

In order to build better communication with your child, you have to learn when to listen and when to talk, so your child feels comfortable with you. How is this achieved? Many experts offer these tips.

Remained Informed about School

You should try to know what is going on in school. You should try to attend teacher-parent meetings, read the school newsletter and ensure that you remain in contact with other parents as well. This shows your child that you care about where they spend most of their time. You will also be able to cope with the changes and issues that occur with your children and the school as well.

Give Children Space

Sometimes after you like to drive downtown after work, your kids love their own space too. Don't plague your children with questions as soon as they get into the door. You should take some time later maybe when you're preparing dinner or something else to chat about the day of your child.

Share Your Day with the Kids

If you're the one always asking questions, your children can easily feel that they are being interrogated. Learn to share funny stories about your frustrations or your day. Ask your children if they have had a similar experience lately as well.

Ask Open Questions

If you ask yes/no questions you'll get back answers in monologue. Try to ask open ended questions which will show children that you're really more interested in learning more about their lives.

Give Full Attention

When you sit down to talk with your child you should make sure that you really listen. Take the time out to read between the lines and observe body language. Make it a point as well to take an interest in whatever your child is talking about even if they talk about something in which you have little interest in.

Stay Encouraging

Make sure that you lean forward and make eye contact when you can. You should show support both verbally and non-verbally as well. You should encourage your child able to share their dreams, problems and aspirations with you.

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