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9 Ways to Strengthen Your Parent-Child Communication

All parents bringing up their children feel that they communicate with them effectively. But parent-child communication is not communication if it is not a two-way thing. When it comes to talking with your kid, there is no substitute. You have to exercise patience and do so with love. 

If done properly, it can help them have a healthy personality, build cordial relationships with not just you but others, and help with their self-esteem. 

Threatening, judging, and interrogation are some things that have prevented most parents from properly relating with their kids. Also, social media has made this more complicated, as many children, mostly teenagers, tend to be glued to their phones or prefer to chat with friends and strangers than have conversations with their parents. 

If you want to strengthen the interaction between you and your youngster, then read the nine tips in this guide. 


1. Be a listening parent

Many people lack good listening skills, which does not change when they become parents. This has a serious negative impact and is one of the reasons for gaps in children relating with their parents. 

Kids have a lot going on in their lives, and if you don't have a long listening span, yours may withdraw and will prefer to talk to anybody who can just listen to them, including strangers. 

Even when you are busy, tired, or not interested in the subject they are discussing, you just need to make that time to listen to them. When they know you as someone who can listen to them, no matter how unwise what they are saying is, they will always want to talk to you first. 


2. Don’t be judgemental 

Truth be told, sometimes your kid can just relate a piece of information to you that you will feel like screaming at the top of your voice to show your disapproval, but you need to learn how to calm yourself down and not be judgemental. If your kids know you to be judgmental, they will hide pieces of information from you. 

This is dangerous because if that information is shared with the wrong people, it may affect your family. While it may be difficult not to judge in some cases because of the bigger picture, you need to learn how not to judge but rather stay on the matter. Find ways to calm down and search for responses to make your child feel safe and loved.


3. Don’t impose

When talking to your kids, be open-minded and have room for change. This open-mindedness is especially important if they are not that little anymore, specifically teenagers and those close to their teenage age. Don’t just say a word and make it a final decision. Explain yourself as much as possible and create an opportunity for their view to be aired. 

Sometimes, let them have their way if you see reasons with them or meet them halfway. And if there is an important reason why you need not shift ground, get them to understand your reasons and agree with you.


4. Don’t share everything about your child with others

Nobody wants their dirty linens spread outside. When your youngster confides in you, it is top secret. It should not be shared with a third party. If they feel their secret is unsafe with you, they will not have that conversation with you. 

So, do not be that person who sits down and discusses their kids’ affairs with their friends and other family members. It is not their business. 


5. Just talk, don’t argue

As your youngsters keep growing, you will notice them trying to argue about something with you. This attitude is normal; you must have done something like that at that age as well. 

Don’t be tempted to argue with the kid; that is why they are kids, but you are an adult. You need to show that you are one. While they are arguing, keep your calm and allow them to finish. If you have anything to say, say it when they are done. Make sure you are in control of the situation. 


6. Occasionally ask for your children’s opinion

Occasionally, ask your youngsters for their opinion on matters that affect them or the family. Doing this makes them feel important and a part of the family. It will also make them come to you when they have an opinion about what is happening in the family or their lives. 

Don’t just ask for their opinion, but let them also see that it is implemented, which will also boost their confidence in decision-making. 


7. Be kind and sweet 

When talking with your kid, learn to be kind in your words and be sweet, too. Harsh words repel children. Don’t be angry and decide to transfer your aggression to your youngster. Learn to control that anger around them. 

When they are going through their thing as kids, be empathic and let them understand that you are with them even in a bad situation. Just make sure they know you are a shoulder they can cry on whenever they are going through an unpleasant situation. 


8. You are a parent

You may have done all of what has been mentioned above and even more, but sometimes you may notice that your kid is unhappy and is going through a difficult time but has refused to share the problem even when asked. Don’t worry, it sometimes happens, and it is not your fault. 

There are times when a youngster will not want to discuss certain topics with you, mostly in their teenage age. You are a parent. Even though we can be our kids' friends, there is a limitation. Just give them space, and at the right time, if they feel the need to have that conversation, they will come around.  


9. Seek help from an expert

If you have tried all the steps in this guide and nothing seems to be working, you should seek professional advice. This tip also comes in handy when you and your youngster are going through difficult issues like the loss of a dear one or some psychological trauma.

A professional can offer useful advice based on experience. Also, some kids will feel safer pouring out their hearts to someone with more experience than you. That is okay and should not make you feel like a bad parent. Getting your youngsters the help they need when going through tough times shows you are a great parent.

You can use Leadar to get the phone numbers and other contact information of family relationship professionals around you to help your youngster.


Parting Thoughts

To strengthen communication between your child and you, you need to be an open-minded parent. Your youngster should be able to come to you with a matter, knowing that you will listen and not judge. 

When giving your opinion, let it sound like an opinion, and don't impose what you think on them. If they disagree, don't argue. Rather, allow them to air their opinion, and you listen; when the child is done, say what you think while being sweet and kind. 

Remember, your youngster may not always want to talk to you about everything. When this happens, give them space until they are ready to confide in you.