Fill the Generation Gap…
Communication and mutual agreement between people of different age groups has become more difficult due to the generation gap. The new generation learns and matures at a quicker pace, given the exposure to social media and an overall increase in technology. As a result, parents, children, and teens are living in completely different worlds. In order to understand each other better, below are some tips and advice that will make it easier for parents to improve communication and interaction with children and teens.
Ways to Improve Communication with Children
Show interest in the activities and hobbies that your children enjoy. By doing so, they will feel more comfortable sharing experiences with you.
For example: if your child enjoys playing video games or watching movies, instead of instantly scolding them about decreasing screen time, ask them what their favorite game or movie is and why.
“Speech is silver, silence is golden” — Ancient Egyptian Proverb
After you have told your child once what you want them to do, such as eat their meal or finish their homework, you should not continue to repeat what needs to be done. It is not effective to continue nagging at them because they will not value what you have to say. Instead, it is best to say it once, and let them figure out what is important on their own. Naturally, they will come to their senses and make the correct choices. You should definitely give them advice and help when they ask for it themselves, but there is no need to constantly remind them of that which they already know.
Analyze their intentions, not their words.
Often times, especially teens going through adolescent development tend to be a bit more aggressive and careless in the way in which they speak to parents. They tend to take the stress from school and friends out on their parents. However, parents must get into the habit of understanding their child’s intention rather than being upset by their words. They never mean to hurt you with their words and if they do say something that is hurtful, it is because they themselves are hurt inside. Try to understand what is going on internally first rather than being upset about the external behavior and words.
Ways to improve your Interaction and Relationship with Children
Lead by example
Humans learn by observing. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. If you want them to be honest with you, then make sure you are transparent about everything with them first. If you do not want your children to talk back or yell at you, then be careful that you do not do the same with them. Punctuality and routine are important and crucial aspects of life. If your children are struggling to complete a task on time, then you should stay on time and stay organized yourself, and they will follow.
Always show your child unconditional love
Nagging and scolding does not benefit you or your child in the long run. Unconditional love for them is the key to win them over for a lifetime. Children blossom when they are encouraged and showered with love. Use positive reinforcements to teach them habits. Positive reinforcement works by rewarding your child when they show a positive behavior. For example, if your child cleans their room without being told to do so, then reward them with ice cream for dessert that night.
Live without expectations and attachments
In many situations, parents themselves create pain for both, themselves and the child by keeping too many expectations on the child. For some parents, since they did not have the various educational opportunities that their child has, they force their children to pursue medicine or engineering. Any form of expectation placed on the child will put pressure not only on the child but also on their relationship with their parent. For example, if your child does not achieve something you aspired, you will be disappointed, and they will not feel valued. When a child does not feel valued, it can be detrimental to their physical and mental well-being. Children are under enough stress. We, as parents, should not be adding more stress by having expectations.
If we want to create a loving, positive, safe and supportive home environment for our children to grow up in, it is important that we make the effort. In time, your children will respond to your positive behavior and before you know it, you will want to spend more time with each other.