Good communication is an important parenting skill. Parenting can be more enjoyable when positive parent – child relationship is established. Whether you are parenting a toddler or a teenager, good communication is the key to building self-esteem as well a mutual respect.
Basic Principles of Good Parent/Child Communication
- Let the child know that you are interested and involved and that you will help when needed.
- Turn off the television or put the newspaper down when your child wants to converse.
- Avoid taking a telephone call when the child has something important to tell you.
- Unless other people are specifically meant to be included, hold conversations in privacy. The best communication between you and the child will occur when others are not around.
- Embarrassing the child or putting him on the spot in front of others will lead only to resentment and hostility, not good communication.
- Don’t tower over your child. Physically get down to the child’s level then talk.
- If you are very angry about a behavior or an incident, don’t attempt communication until you regain your cool, because you cannot be objective until then. It is better to stop, settle down, and talk to the child later.
- If you are very tired, you will have to make an extra effort to be an active listener. Genuine active listening is hard work and is very difficult when your mind and body are already tired.
- Listen carefully and politely. Don’t interrupt the child when he is trying to tell his story. Be as courteous to your child as you would be to your best friend.