5 Ways to Effectively Communicate with Your Kids

Here are some tips that will help you connect with your children.No matter how old your children are, even if they are adult professionals, it is never too late to connect and build strong relationships. These tips are simple but effective ways to communicate your love and support and to celebrate loving connections. Also Read: 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Spank Your Kids

As a parent educator, I see so many families who forget to use common courtesy with each other. Always treat your children with the same respect you hope to see them use when relating to others. The way you talk to your kids will determine how they respond to you.

Here are five ways to effectively communicate with your children:

1. Tell them what you want, not what you don't want. If you state your wishes in a positive manner you will get a better response. Don't say, "Stop pushing your brother. Don't do it again or you will be sorry." Instead try, "When you push someone they can fall and get hurt. I want you to use your words if you want him to move."

2. Tell them what you expect in clear words. We don't always get what we want but we usually get what we expect. If we expect them to be lazy, that is what behavior will come back to us. A great example of what to say is "The milk belongs in the fridge." verses "Would it kill you to put the milk in the fridge?"

3. Receive their gifts with gratitude. Sometimes we get so caught up in daily life that we forget what our children have to teach us and their gifts of love are memory makers. You should say to your child, "You have a gift for remembering important things and I need to give you the time you need to tell me. How about you share the movie with me tonight at bedtime when I can really pay you the attention you deserve?" Also Read: How To Talk To Your Teen About Sex & Condoms

4. Allow them to express feelings and fears. Instead of "Don't be ridiculous, of course you don't have an imaginary friend and I am not setting a place for them at dinner." Say "Sometimes we all wish we had someone who would listen to us, play what we want to play, do what we want to do and never be unkind to us. You can pretend for a while, but maybe you would like to share some of your worries with me. I can help you to figure out some solutions."

5. Avoid threats and unenforceable punishments.
Don't say "If you are late one more time, you will be grounded for the rest of your natural life." But rather, "Before you go with your friends, let's make sure we agree that curfew is ten o'clock on school nights. We are also clear that the consequences for being late are to lose weekend privileges. That is what we agreed on, so I want to make sure we both understand."

Sometimes the idea of connecting and communicating with our children seems almost overwhelming. We are competing with video games, friends, hormones and a hundred other things that take their attention. Also Read: 2 Types Of Parents: Which One Are You?

As a parent educator as well as parent, grandparent and an auntie, I can assure you that the time spent will be worth it. If you can see that your child has something on his mind but is nervous about sharing, I have found it effective to do a chore or take a ride so that you are shoulder to shoulder, rather than eye to eye.

Written by Judy Helm Wright for YourTango.com.

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