The parent-child relationship is one of the longest lasting social ties human beings establish. Just like with any relationship, building a positive relationship between parent and child is one that requires work and effort to make it strong and successful. Parenting is a tough job, and maintaining close relationships and open communications helps to ensure parents and their children stay connected through all ages of their upbringing.
Even though your child doesn’t have the similar level of wisdom, knowledge, information, and experience, they fundamentally have the same rational tools and can see through logical belief in what makes sense.
When we apply the “do-it-because-I-said-so” approach while talking to children, it hardly works. We cannot use power-assertive statements based on any kind of logical reality to get the job done.
Following tips are useful while talking to your children.
- Have a dialog rather than a monolog. When parents complain “my child doesn’t want to talk to me,” what they’re really complaining about is “my child doesn’t want to listen to me.” Conversation involves at least two people. Replace lectures with a two way conversation.
- Keep the dialog safe. The conversation between any two people will break down if one of the two is put on the defensive and made to feel he’s being accused of something. In such situations take an exit from the content and get engage into another activity or dialog, saying “At this time I can see you are feeling angry/ defensive, let’s talk about it another time”.
- Show respect towards your teen’s opinions. Children can be surprisingly easy to talk with if the parents make it clear that they’re listening to the teen’s point of view. Consider their opinions as their perception about a situation.
- Keep the dialog short and use simple language. Almost every parent says at least 50% more than he or she should. Shut up. Remember when you were a teen and your parents lectured at you? And you thought, ‘Will you please stop; I already got the point!’ Stop before your teen gets there.”
- Be yourself. Parents need to be themselves and avoid words like sorry, please and thank you while asserting to their children. Don’t try to talk like your children or their friends. They should be clear that their parents are talking to them. “You’re an adult, so be an adult”.
- Use appropriate time. A spontaneous conversation in the car or at home late at night — any time when you’re not rushed — can make for some of the warmest, most rewarding moments. Dialog should take place out of comfort zones. Drawing room is a better place to have a dialog rather than bed room.
- Watch for your own strengths and weaknesses. Parents should educate their kids on their own area of strengths. If parents talk aggressively they might not be the right people to talk about their children’s aggression. In that case they can hire a professional to develop assertive skills.
In today’s world, parenting is no more similar to how our parents use to deal with us. Parenting has evolved into a learnable skill that every parent should learn. Choosing a new set of parenting tools such as respectful communication, cooperative problem-solving and incorporating sensory tools for stress relief are at the crux of shifting your beliefs about children and parenting.