Happy #BumpDay! Good communication with your child starts at a young age. Since children learn their communication skills mainly from their parents, it’s important to always encourage open and honest conversation.

Open communication not only strengthens you and your child’s relationship, but also benefits everyone in the family. On the reverse side, negative communication can lead children to believe they are unimportant or misunderstood.

In today’s post, we’re offering tips on how to positively communicate with your children.

  • Be present. Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent or put down your book if your child wants to talk. Give them your full, undivided attention when they come to you for help.
  • Talk in private. Unless other people need to be involved, keep the conversation private. Admonishing or embarrassing your child in front of other people may discourage them from coming to you again in the future. Car rides are some of the best times to have serious conversations.
  • Maintain eye contact. Get down on their level when you or they are talking. It may be intimidating to your child if you’re towering over them when they speak.
  • Be involved. Let your child know you’re interested in whatever conversation they want to have, whether it is to ask a question, to look for advice or if they need help with a problem. Offer your help when it’s needed.
  • Work through one problem at a time. If you’re angry about an incident, stop, take a minute to settle down and revisit the discussion when you can have a controlled conversation. Remember that your child is confiding in you because they trust you and need your help.
  • Be an active listener. Listen carefully and politely when your child is speaking. Try not to interrupt, but instead wait until they are done speaking to give your input.
  • Look for a solution to their problem together. Try to keep your moralizing to a minimum. Instead of simply saying, “I know what’s best for you,” help them come to a suitable solution on their own. This will help keep the line of communication open for later problems.
  • Praise their efforts at communication. Encourage positive behavior, and make it clear that they can always come to you with their problems.

Good communication will almost always lead to a good relationship with your child!