The key to a happy family is healthy communication. By communicating well, you provide a warm and nurturing environment for your children. Healthy communication will encourage your child to speak up and share what’s on their mind.
Children grow up quickly, and it is important for the parents to realize that they start building opinions of their own. Whenever these opinions go unheard, they feel dejected, and it lowers their self-esteem. Make sure they know that you value their opinions.
Here are 7 ways in which you can encourage your children to speak up and create a warm and welcoming environment for them.
1. Have a conversation about topics of their interest
Parents often tend to impose their own aspirations on their children. However, it is important to realize that they have their own interests, and as a parent, you should try to encourage them to pursue their interests.
Let your inner child connect with them. Talk about their school life, their friends, the kinds of issues they face, their insecurities, and their fears. Be compassionate towards them. Show interest in their lives, hear them, and let them know that they are being heard.
2. Never discourage them
To build their self-esteem, it is important that you don’t look down upon them. Try not to indulge in excessive criticism. Make them realize that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Parents often try to make their children perfect, but there is no denying that we all are imperfect. Over criticism will only make them hide their flaws from you.
Furthermore, do not belittle their victory. It makes them feel like it is impossible to ever meet your expectations. Acknowledge their achievements and make them realize that you are proud of their accomplishments. This will boost their self-confidence, thus will encourage a child to speakup.
3. Let your children answer for themselves.
Whenever you have guests over, or you run into a friend on the street, let them introduce themselves and greet them. This will help them come out of their shell and get rid of their shyness. This will also help them enhance their social skills.
Moreover, do ask for their opinions and patiently listen to them. Let them make their own decisions while performing minimal tasks like what dress they would like to wear, what fruit they would like to eat, what game they want to play, etc. This encourages them to speak up for what they want.
4. Avoid judging them
Whenever your child tries to discuss a topic that is difficult, hear them out and understand their perspective. If you feel they have been mistaken, make them realize their mistake and be gentle with them. Scolding them might worsen the matter and make them shut down the subject of discussion.
If they fail a test, appreciate them for their efforts. Analyze the weak areas and try to come up with a solution together. This will encourage a child to speak up in the event of distress. Try not to let the fear of failure grow on them.
5. Allow disagreements and encourage questions
Learning begins at home. Encourage your child to actively participate in discussions and let them have their own opinion. Listen to their idea attentively and make them realize the importance of having varied opinions. Teach them how to deal with disagreements and how to handle varied opinions. Teach them to seek answers to their questions and not shut them down.
6. Teach your children to stand up for themselves
Treat your kids with respect. And make them aware that they may encounter situations where they need to take a stand for themselves. Teach them no means no, and it is not always disrespectful to refuse. If your child is having a dispute with another child, make sure you observe and let them take a stand for themselves and only intervene if needed. There is a thin line between taking a stand and devaluing others’ opinions. Try to teach them to make that distinction while encouraging them to speak up.
7. Set an example for them
If you think you have done something wrong or said hurtful words, apologize to them. This will help them realize the importance of forgiving and acknowledging our own mistakes. It is critical to keep in mind that children not only do what you say, they mirror your behavior. By showing humility, you are encouraging them to reflect on their mistakes as well. This will make them more open to constructive criticism.
By taking these measures into account, you can bridge the communication gap between a parent and a child. To know more about how you can improve your child’s life by sharpening their communication skills, get in touch with Orator Academy.