We are a few months into the school year and depending on where your child goes to school, at the end of the trimester or middle of the semester. Now that your family has settled back into a school routine, it’s the perfect time to give your communication a bit of a tune-up. Good communication with your kids, no matter their age, can lead to stronger relationships and can help you better understand what is happening in your child’s life. This understanding means you can better be aware of any concerns or challenges.
Get Communication Going
Talking to your kids doesn’t have to feel awkward, even if they are in that tween or teen stage. Instead, keep your questions open-ended so that they cannot answer with a simple yes or no. You can also increase the odds of them giving more information and adding more to the conversation by communicating when you are not necessarily looking right at one another. Chats on a drive or during a hike, for example, are more likely to be more successful.
While you may not be having heart-to-hearts every day with your child, it is important to check-in with them often. Ask how things are going, if they need help with anything if something is bothering them. You can get a good feel of how their day or week is going by watching their body language while answering the question as well as their verbal response.
Conversations are less likely to happen if everyone in the family is connected to a device. Make device-free hours a non-negotiable in your house, aiming for at least two hours device-free daily. Parents, this time includes you signing off your phone or computer as well. Put all devices in a basket and choose to connect to one another instead.
It’s Ok to Have Hard Talks
Finally, don’t shy away from hard or difficult subjects. Your child may want to talk about heavier subjects like feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or stressed out. Talk about it with them without attempting to fix it. Instead, listen to them and express that you are there for them during this time.
Get Help From Professionals
Are you struggling to communicate with your child, or do they have questions you aren’t sure how to answer? Let Jason, the Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Express Yourself Therapy, intercede. Jason has experience working with kids and parents and can create a safe and encouraging space that will benefit your whole family.
Call Jason to learn more about his services and to set up an appointment today.