Communication Skills for Parents
‘My parents don’t listen’. One of the greatest communication skills you can have is the skill of listening. You will never learn anything if you are continually on transmit. When you listen you learn things. You will learn that your kids are still immature and need your help in the world. You will learn how your kids see the world and this will give you an understanding of how they relate to it.
You will get to know what makes your kids tick, their likes and dislikes, their fears and desires, their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these things will help you help them motivate themselves towards achievement.
Once you start listening you can then start asking questions. Asking questions will take you on a journey of discovery. Discovering who your kids really are.
‘I can’t talk to my parents about anything’.Sometimes difficult for parents but you need to be able to broach subjects such as sex, drugs, pregnancy and bullying. Especially if you believe your kid is involved in any of them. The secret is to ‘generalise’ each subject by finding stories in the press or on television and get your kid involved in many discussions. For instance, “what do you think of that 14 year old that got pregnant” or “why do you think more and more teenagers seem to be taking drugs these days” or “how do you feel about parents that let their kids run wild”. Use lots and lots of who, why, what, where, when and how (open-ended) questions. Their reaction and answers ‘will tell you a lot.
‘My parents are on a different wavelength’. If you expect your kids to come on to your wavelength then think again. You need to understand to be understood. That means you make the first move. This then gives you the opportunity to bring them onto your wavelength. Try to see things from their point of view and get them to see things from your point of view. A mutual respect is created and you can move forward.
‘They don’t know anything about me’.Take an interest in their education, pastimes, hobbies, sports and friends. It shows you care. Celebrate with them when they are doing well and be strong for them when they are experiencing some hard times. There is nothing worse than a parent who takes no interest in their kids especially their education and parent/teacher evenings.
‘They never have the time for me’.From today set aside some regular quality time for you to enjoy time together. Go and do things. Go to the fairground, bowling, cinema, theatre, football, shopping, in fact anything that your kids might enjoy. Afterwards over a drink or snack you can talk about things.
Begin to confide and bring them into the inner part of your life and hopefully they will start to do the same. One of your goals should be to turn your kids into your best friends. When that happens you will change your and their lives.
‘They never hug me or tell me that they love me’.If you as a parent were never shown love by your parents then maybe you find it difficult showing love to your kids. From today start telling your kids that you care about them. Tell them that you are there for them. Tell them that they are the most important things in your life. Tell them that you love them. And, hug them like you mean it.
You have the opportunity to become a great role model to another human being - your own child. Love, inspire, respect, care, nurture and hone your communication skills. If you do nothing else with your life this will have been enough.
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