Effective communication begins with listening: – Robert Galety
Parents are the first caregiver and love their children unconditionally. It’s joyful to see their children grow and develop into a good being. It is very important for parents to have healthy communication with children and navigate their childhood in right direction.
Parenting is fulfilling yet frustrating. It brings out the best and the worst in a person. We do everything possible from trying various parenting tricks to attending workshops and reading books. A parent child relationship is one that nurtures the physical, emotion, and social development of the child. This relationship lays the foundation for child’s personality, choices, and overall behaviour. Loving parents create loving relationship and healthy communication. A young child who grows having a secure and healthy attachment to his parents stand a better chance of development and contented relationship with others in his upcoming life. A child who has a secure relationship with parents learns to regulate emotions under stress and in difficult situations. It also helps the child to exhibit optimistic and confident social behaviour. Healthy parent involvement and intervention in the child day to day life lay the foundation for better social and academic skills. A healthy relationship also helps the child gain strong problem solving skills.
Characteristics of a healthy parent-child relationship
You need to be flexible, connected, and open in communication with them. Communication is a two way process and is very effective method to make others understand about you feelings emotion etc. it can be both verbal and nonverbal. It is important for parents to communicate effectively with their children. Open and effective communication benefits the surroundings of family, children will also be much disciplined and will try to enhance their participation. Parenting is more effective when understanding and enjoyable. When the communication is healthy it helps to grow self-esteem and responsibility, when unhealthy leads to diverted minds and undisciplined life. Many things create hindrance in the way you communicate. Never divert from your main topic, yours as well as their importance is very essential, never try to assume things, use languages that support your child, avoid being judgemental towards them and always try to find something good/ positive in their activities.
Children learn through modelling their parents; how they walk, talk communicate, act in different relationships. So it is very important for parents to present a positive model. e.g.:- if a man talks to his mother rudely, then the grandson will also learn it and do the same with his grandparents.
To test how healthy your communication is, ask yourself:
1. Do I feel good about myself?
2. Do my children feel good about themselves?
3. Is our relationship reserved?
If answer to all above questions is yes, then you are putting the power of your words to good use.
Ways of effective communication
When the child is very small, he learns to communicate with the environment from his parents. Children who experience more acceptance from parents are more likely to open up and share their fears and feelings with parents. It’s the duty of the parents to make them feel accepted and loved. Parents should also make their children understand different ways of life and communication in different situations.
Even the non- verbal communication plays an important role in communicating effectively with the environment around. It also is very important for parents to convey according to their child’s level of understanding. Try to give real life examples but do not compare your children with others. Eye contact is very important, because sometimes out of fear children don’t opt to speak. Listening sincerely make children feel that parents are interested in them. Always share your thoughts with children. Not only listening properly is sufficient but explaining your thoughts is also important.
Parent can and should teach many things to their children. Letting them know about potential problems & difficulties is important. Teaching about being non- judgement, willing to understand and how to maintain any relationship is possible through excercising it in their own lives. Spending regular time with children is essential. Take out a day in weak when all your time is for the family. This can be utilized to discuss so many things which are not possible in busy work days. Within family, problems, children‘s main concerns regarding studies, work, marriage, career can be planned and discussed. Always involve children’s view in family matters, as it will enhance their decision making. Try to resolve their doubts and make sure no unnecessary argument take place. Always try to learn from children rather than underestimating them. Also remember, parents should make sure that the information they are giving to their children is age appropriate and also know that how much of information is necessary for them. This will help the parents to make them understand efficiently.
How to avoid negative communication
1. Never ignore children’s feeling: Whenever the child discusses about his feelings, always consider it seriously and listen patiently and try to motivate the child for consultations. If he loses a match or is undergoing breakup in relationship, try to explain them about life. Children always want support from parents and parent need to show them that they love and care for them. In present times, there is dire need to talk about sex education, parents are required to be attentive about it as well. Never lie to them because they are very good in sensing the lie of their parents. Always try to avoid threating them, as it can lead to restfulness among the children.
2. Motivate them to solve their problems finding algorithms themself: Many a times, while pampering the child, parents over indulge so much so that they are unable to solve their problems themself. Child may also feel like his life is governed by their parents, they may feel pressurized and inferior in front of others. On the other side, children who take their own decisions always feel self-contented and independent that hence their confidence level is up as well. Never get stick to one thing about the child especially about mistakes and follies. As it will lead to problems. Child should be motivated to start over afresh. When parents constantly talk about bad past it gets very hard for the child to overcome from problems.
3. Criticism: this is one of the biggest problems which comes in all relationships. Never bang upon your children without listening them properly as it might turn as the biggest reason why the child does not want to share his things.
How to Remove the Communication Gap
1. Pay proper attention to your child: When the child needs you, try to be always available for them. During such times, if you are not there, then it may create problem for the proper – development of your child. Always be the first to communicate regarding their problems .Try to indulge in every activity the child is interested in.
2. Take initiatives: Always take initiatives to work with your children as it will enhance your relationship with them. Always try to have conversations one to one.
Try to stay cool while talking to your child, even if it’s a difficult situation.
3. If you are stressed: If sometimes you are very busy, try to make the child understand the situation and try not be stressful over pity things.
4. Be sorry when it’s your mistake: feeling sorry and expressing it openly in front of children will help them acquire the habit of realizing their mistakes and being sorry whenever they are wrong.
5. Show interest i what they are saying: Avoid your work while the child wants to talk about something. Listen to their thought. Never interpret while they are expressing their feelings. Always make them understand what your concerns are regarding them. Always focus on indirect and nonverbal expressions of your child
6. Never argue: Express your opinion but never force them. Always be calm and understand that children learn from their own view points, own mistakes. Try to motivate them to express their minds. Try to be friends with them.
Enhance your child’s self-esteem. Appreciate your child for smaller things, they perform or learn. Always be there with your children like Shadow in sorrow and friend in need.