Many parents want to know how to communicate efficiently and more frequently with their kids. This is becoming increasingly difficult as time goes by for several reasons, not the least of which is that parents and children are leading very different lives in the same home. The need to hustle through life doing as much as possible is becoming a very big problem as parents and their kids are swiftly becoming the metaphorical ships that pass each other in the night, never connecting but always knowing that the other is there.
There are ways around this, but they require work and attention from both parties. Parents often try to initiate the first contact but fall short because they have forgotten how to relate to their own children. Children on the other hand have become so engrossed in their own lives, sometimes at the behest of their parents, that they can no longer relate to those who care for them the most. It is a very tragic cycle that affects many families and can be remedied with one simple act, by talking to each other.
Too many families are distant to one another because of a lack of communication. this problem can be remedied.
1) Express interest in each other.
As I said above the problem with communication between parents and children is a decided lack of common ground that exists between parent and child. Even if neither knows what goes on in the average day of the other, make a concentrated effort to find out. Ask your child about their day or offer some amusing anecdote about your own day. The worst that can happen is that they won’t listen. They will at least remember that you put forth the effort. I can recall many conversations with my parents that didn’t reach anything resembling common ground until I became an adult, at which point our relationship was already strained. Showing interest early in life is key to good communication.
2) Ask open-ended questions.
Don’t bother asking them how their day was. Chances are you will receive a single-word answer such as “Fine” or “Okay”. If you really want to know ask a question such as “Did you do anything interesting today?” Remember to show real interest, otherwise the answer you get might be the same grunt or monosyllabic affirmative or negative that you’ve become so used to. While I wasn’t a talker, my parents made the common mistake of asking “How was your day?” on a constant basis, which became the proverbial broken record that many kids come to despise.
3) Just talk to each other.
Don’t let anything be taboo. You don’t have to talk about their day, or even your day. Just find something to talk about and make the words come. It could be something simple or complex, all you have to do is continue the conversation. Silence between family members isn’t always golden.