Tips for Parenting
Through parenting we can prepare our children to survive and thrive in their environment. The environment that today’s society provides children is full of challenges and big issues like drugs, violence, and sex. That is why it is so important for children and parents to communicate openly. Communication takes both talking and listening. Listening, instead of lecturing, gives children space to share their feelings, and by sorting through their own problems can help with their decision making skills. Further, good communication helps children develop confidence, feelings of self-worth, and good relationships with others.
Some Parenting Communication Tips:
- Be a model and give respect to your children when expressing yourself with a courteous tone of voice.
- Use door openers that encourage children to keep talking about their feelings or an incident, such as “Oh,” “Really,” or “I hear you.”
- When your children want to talk to you, give your undivided attention. Focus on what they are telling you by turning off the TV or radio, or perhaps even unplugging the phone to prevent distractions.
- Praise your children often. Don’t ignore the little things they do that might be easy to take for granted. Praise builds confidence and reinforces communication.
- When communicating with smaller children bend or sit down so you can met their eye level with yours.
- Allow your children to express negative emotions, but help them express it in acceptable ways. Instead of hitting someone they’re mad at, maybe draw pictures about what happened that made them angry.
- Try to avoid the following, which don’t allow for effective communication: Ordering, arguing, lecturing, criticizing, and analyzing.
An Action Plan
Creating open lines of communication with your child is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and effort. It may be helpful to discuss your progress and stumbles with other parents and share your ideas.
Print out the Help Plan, then identify some people you can rely on to help you through any difficulties you may be experiencing.