7 Ways to Improve Communication With Your Child

Your children experience a lot in one school day, but when you ask about their days you don’t always get a complete response. Here are 7 ways to get more out of your conversations with your children.

1. Find opportunities to get your kids sharing

Sitting face to face can cause kids to close up. Strike up a conversation when you’re driving in the car or doing an activity together. Taking off the pressure by focusing somewhere else can make kids start to share.

2. Figure out the best times to talk

Your child might be more talkative at different parts of the day. Maybe it’s in the morning or before bedtime. Figure out when your kid is more likely to share and start up a conversation then.

3. Be genuine

Don’t overdo emotion, but do respond to your child with some feeling. Respond how you would normally, not like a therapist. Get involved in the conversation and show that you’re listening and interested.

4. Ask specific questions

One way to show that you’re really listening to your child is to ask specific questions in response to what you’re hearing. Asking questions helps the story along and shows that you’re paying attention.

5. Pay attention to detail

Ask for details about the stories they’re sharing. Don’t scare them off with deep questions about feelings, but ask about specific details of the story. They will be more likely to share what was really going on.

6. Share your own story

Talking about your own day can inspire your children to share about theirs. They might hear something similar between your day and their own. When your child takes the lead of the conversation, listen.

7. Offer advice

Kids may not directly ask for your advice, but there are ways to offer it without lecturing. If your child is facing a problem, ask how he or she wants to solve it. Separate yourself from the situation, but bring up some ideas based on your own experiences. Asking about and sharing ideas can open up a discussion between you and your child.

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