In our video on 3 tips to get your child to communicate, one of the tips is to slow down and listen. It’s pretty easy to say that, and it makes a huge difference for kids if we can do it, but how do we actually implement that?
Whatever it is that we need to work on, if the goal is to improve communication skills, there is one thing that needs to be present - communication!
There are different definitions for communication, but it’s basically exchanging information.
If the information is not received, it’s pretty much useless.
It is an important skill, though, so when we communicate with our kids, we need to have time to do it properly. How can we make that work?
Actively decide on a time: For example, having one meal a day together as a family or at least one parent with the children. If we don’t have a fixed time, it easily gets pushed out of the way, and before you know it, another week has passed, and you didn’t get any decent time with your kids.
Ditch the devices: With a device in hand, communication between family members is not going to happen. For a couple of minutes, leave the devices out of reach. Don’t be afraid to make a rule about this - you’re not asking your children not to spend any time on devices, but for the designated meal (if that is what you choose), that is the rule.
Slow down and listen: Ask your children about their day - what they enjoyed, what wasn’t so great, and whether they learned anything interesting. Resist the urge to bombard them with questions. Ask one, then stop and listen. Give them time to think and respond. Don’t judge - listen and encourage them. Praise their efforts, tell them why you are proud of them, and reassure them when they fail so that they know mistakes are okay and nothing to be ashamed of.
Even though it may take some time to settle into this new routine, it is something that will start to add value and something your children will start to look forward to as they become familiar with it.
And you are going to love it too!
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