Saturday, June 2, 2007

Keep Communication Open with your Kids

By Leigh Gray

No matter the age of the child, they must know they have your trust if you are to keep lines of communication open. That means they must feel confident that you are not going to cut their sentences off in midstream with a judgment. Here are ten tips to help foster open communication:

1) Make sure your child knows that their words are worthy of you stopping everything to listen to them.

2) Get on your knees for small ones (even stand in a chair for older ones if you must!) so that you can look them in the eyes when they talk.

3) Ask your child to draw you a picture of what they are feeling. Your older child may want to journal you a note. Remember, feelings are hard even for adults to admit.

4) Whenever possible, get one-on-one with your child. Lie in bed with them and just talk, play "make believe" together, or go for a ride in the car.

5) Get in their world. Go to the batting cage, go window shopping, go swimming, go bug hunting. This will say to them that you value them and are interested in what they are interested in.

6) Ask them how you can pray for them.

7) Never tell their secrets - they must know they can trust you.

8) Don't make fun of them when they've unsuccessfully tried to do something on their own. Their pants may be on backwards and need "fixing", but gingerly try to accomplish that goal without criticizing or squelching their attempts at independence.

9) Encourage, encourage, encourage. Be their biggest fan, even when they are "ignoring" you!

10) Ask forgiveness quickly. Children must see a model of seeking forgiveness in order to seek it themselves one day.

Bottom line: Communication flows freely when love abounds!


Shelia said...

God Bless the author of this article. This is just what I needed after having to deal with my 15 yr. ole daugher. Your words was ministered to my weary heart!

Elizabeth said...

I realy like what this article has to say. My son is only two right now, but as he grows I want to have open communication with him. I want to be the first person next to God that he talks to. I want him to trust me in everything he has to say. Thank you!