37 Ways to communicate better with your children

How often have you asked your kids ‘How was school today?’ and the reply was ‘it was okay!’ and that’s it. My youngest son just started high school today and my wife and I have been nervous and anxious for him, although we’ve been careful not to show him this. I took a day off work so I could spend a little longer with him when dropping him off for school and then to pick him up again. It was heartbreaking to watch him go into school, ‘He’s all grown up.’ I thought with a little lump in my throat, It’s like time is slipping by and before we know it he’ll be a grown man.

Well, when I went to pick him up, I was all excited and asked:

‘Well, how did it go?’

‘It was okay’ he said smiling, knowing I wanted to hear all about it. I eventually got some blood from the stone and he told me about it in dribs and drabs, however he seemed to enjoy it and has made a few friends already which is always good.

My other son, who is in his 3rd year at high school is exactly the same and sometimes I can’t even get blood from that stone. I advised them that we have spent weeks worrying and feeling anxious for them and all we ask in return is a little information about their day at school. So I advise them to give a little more and not have my wife beat the hell out of them just to get a little info. My wife duly comes home, practically running in to see how they got on at school and thankfully they were a little more open.

I guess it’s just boys being boys, I remember being exactly the same and always wondered why my mum was so interested in my school activities. My niece, on the other hand, talks at 100 miles per hour and talks for hours.

here’s a few tips I have learned over the years about communicating with children:

37 Ways to communicate better with your children

1. Always be interested in their day, even if they don’t want to tell you anything.
2. Pay attention to them and make them feel as if they are the only person in the room when they speak to you.
3. Make time to sit down with them in a relaxed manner to allow them to open up more.
4. Sit down for family meals (One of the best decisions we made was to always make it a rule to all sit round the dinner table together).
5. Keep eye contact to show you are listening.
6. Don’t dismiss the little things they tell you about.
7. Keep close to them when they are talking, don’t have a conversation whilst you are in the kitchen and they are in their room.
8. Show them you love them and always tell them you love them.
9. Tell them you believe in them often.
10. Children are not your friends and letting them off with the small things could lead to bigger problems in the future.
11. Always listen to their side of the story if there are any arguments or rows going on.
12. Praise them with every single thing they do well.
13. Be as open and honest as possible with them about EVERYTHING.
14. If you have more than 1 child make time so you can spend time alone together, even if it’s driving to the shops.
15. Read between the lines. Kids have a way of telling you something without directly telling you.
16. Don’t interrupt children when they are trying to tell you something.
17. Ask their opinion on something that’s important to you and them.
18. Tell them about your day and encourage discussion.
19. Give them a hug at least 200 times per day :)
20. Always say please and thank you when speaking to your kids, they will develop manners this way.
21. Encourage them to voice their opinion on the big family decisions, like buying a house, a car etc.
22. Tell them stories of when you were younger, kids always want to hear this.
23. Play games with them as much as possible.
24. Step into their world for a bit and get to learn what they like.
25. Become a child for a day and just have a toy fight, pillow fight, wrestle, and do the silly things that kids do.
26. Respect their privacy, always knock.
27. Give them unexpected presents.
28. Let let go up the down escalator
29. Let them have their own style and find it themselves.
30. be proud of them ,even when they didn’t quite make but tried their best.
31. Just hold them, that little bit longer than you normally would.
32. Let them find their own hobbies and encourage them in finding them.
33. Stand back to let them them make their own mistakes, they’ll grow a lot quicker.
34.Take them to where you grew up and tell them about it.
35. Forgive them as they forgive you.
36. Don’t make them wear a jacket if they don’t want to even when it’s raining.
37. Just love them for the little individuals they are, just love them!

Is there anything else you would add to this list, why not leave a comment below.

Some Amazing Comments

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About Steven Aitchison

I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
If you want to learn more about my products you can check out Steven Aitchison's Products or check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon

Comments

  1. Nicole Kiefer says:

    Nice post! I like the simple style of the article, but the tips given are very helpful. When my daughter turned 15, our relationship became very very difficult. It all started when she told me she had a sleepover at her friends house. The next day I received an angry call from one of her classmates’ mother. She had returned from a business trip earlier than planned and found my daughter lying in her son’s bed .. We all know what that meant! When I confronted her, I told her that I didn’t trust her anymore .. She could’ve told me! Then she got really angry and from that day on our communication was so bad, that I was desperate. Nobody could help me and every advice I received didn’t work on my daughter. I decided to consult a professional with my problem. I found one skilled woman on Your24hCoach (coaching network introducing professionals, you can directly contact over the internet). As if she had been in the same situation she knew exactly how to talk to my daughter to ease her temper. A fifteen-minute-talk led to a much better relationship to my daughter than before and I’*m really helpful for that! If you don’t know how to connect to your chidren, I strongly recommend talking to professionals preferably on Your24hCoach!

  2. Teach them to take pleasure in small things like a new pair of socks or kicking autumn leaves and they will always have something to be happy about

  3. Daniel'le says:

    This is a great list! My 3 rules of parenting my 2 lovely daughters are to always be patient–don’t rush a single minute and this means to allow them the time to perform all those tasks they need to perform on there own no matter how long it takes them; always talk to the children with respect as you would want them to speak to you or to anybody else in the world; and always remember that your attitude and demeanor will always influence theirs–when you are happy they are happy,and when you are in a bad mood they too will be in a bad mood.

  4. Hi steven

    thank you so much for taking the time to wright
    such a powerful list my favorite has to be 35
    good luck to you and your wife. your kids are very lucky as a lot of
    parents need your list

    take care mandy.

  5. Hi,
    thanks for the list
    number 8 is my all time favorite
    show them you love them and always tell them you love them

  6. Ana Fialloss says:

    Hello Steven,

    As a parent we all need a little help in how to have a great relationship with your children and having those lines of commmunication open. I have a beautiful daughter and she is 8 years old. As they get older t gets harder to talk to them and really getting to understand them. Children dont come with instruction you learn as go and grow as go,. Its a beautiful thing… We as parent have to (“roll with the punches”) :) Times have changed and they are getting worse we need to prepare ourself for our children. What better way thento be their parent,best friend, and everything else…. The time with our children is short lets make the best out of it!!!! Always be Honest, and Always Respect one another ……… Thank you Steven for your advice….

  7. Hello Steven,
    I will be speaking on your article during my radio show this afternoon (4pm PT). If you would like a guest spot to share your thoughts on your article – I would love to provide you the space.

    DION EVANS LIVE: Truth, Raw and Uncut

    I can be reached at devans@RMGradio.org

  8. I love this article as a single working mother of two young daughters ive had to pick up the role of father and mother! i think im going to print this list and put it somewhere i can see it everyday to help me become a better stronger person. And both my daughters ultimate hero! my main lifes goal is to make sure they are the best women they can be when there grown! Ps i asked my daughter today what was her favorite part of the day and she said she likes when she gets off the school bus and im there waiting for her.

  9. loving this i really like this list it helped me and my son

  10. Love the list. One of my favorites is to talk to my kids while waiting for the bus. We are not distracted and we learn a lot about each other this way.

  11. great list! Also getting down on the the childs level to make better eye contact is a great way of them interacting better.

  12. hi steven,
    im currently studying play worker in becoming a play worker i wanted what are the three different methods of communicating with children please i need help thanx

  13. Leave nice notes in there school lunch!!

  14. Works fine with over-grown kids too! ;)
    Great list!
    .-= Akhil Sasidharan´s last blog ..Afterwards: Life and such, college and the people =-.

  15. Thanks Dragos, i try and go for number 19 everyday but they get fed up after the 5th hug of the day.

  16. Number 19 is my all time favorite :-)

    Thanks for the list, useful, well written and fun to read.

    Cheers, Dragos
    .-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..7 Symptoms You’re On The Verge Of A Burn Out =-.

  17. This is beautiful, Steven! Just imagine a world where all parents actively lived this entire list. It should be part of a Guide Book to Parenting.

    I LOVE the one about standing back and letting them make their own mistakes as they will grow quicker. Yes!! And the things they learn will be from experience and imprinted on their entire psyche. Experiential learning was and still is the highest form of learning for me. One doesn’t forget it.

    So many other good ones here, all of them. It’s very heartening to see an adult who is aware of what it takes to foster communication with children. There is strong sense of respect for children in this whole post. So many adults forget what it’s like to be a child…and what a child needs. They forget that children are wise, willing to love, willing to forgive, will to grow. Children as some of our greatest teachers…if only listen to them.

    Many of these brought tears to my eyes. Simply beautiful, compassionate and loving. Thank you Steven. You ought to consider writing a book sometime about this same topic only more in depth. My culture has forgotten how to treat children.

    • Hi Robin, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment I really appreciate your feedback and thanks for the compliment about writing a book. I really do believe if we actively respect our children they will grow up respecting others and turn them into strong but respectful people.

      You should consider a guest post here as your writing is also great and for readers of CYT I would urge you to check out Robin’s blog.

  18. what ever is it? where ever you are.? communication is very important! either with parents,teacher,friends relationship…… when there is no communication there is a full stop.
    .-= laymenv´s last blog ..Watch This !!! =-.

  19. When I couldn’t get blood from the stone about school from my youngest little guy when he was 5 or so, I would ask him about who he sat with for lunch and what did they talk about.

    I also asked both of my kids to tell me if they learned something that was new/ a surprise to them and something that confirmed what they already learned.

    My favorite thing to ask is, “Did you ask a good question in class?”

    • Yin, that’s a good idea to ask that. I also ask ‘what was your favourite part of the day’, sometimes I get ‘Coming home!’ as a reply but most of the time they’ll tell me a little more about their day.

  20. Very nice list! Even if you “know” many of these, it’s great to be reminded — sorta like a pep talk to strengthen our resolve. Thanks for sharing!
    .-= Mike Greer´s last blog ..Tend Your Gardens of Thought =-.

  21. Something you’ve pretty much said in different ways already: talk with them and not just to them.

    • Azziria – exactly, we are living in a different generation from when it used to be ‘children should be seen and not heard’ , children really are so important for our futures and it’s important to riase them as best we can.

  22. Lovely post. I’d like to expand on your point 13 by emphasising the importance of “authenticity” and being genuine when talking with your child.

    If you don’t know an answer, say you don’t and suggest how to find out together, for example, instead of making something up.

    If you are genuine with your child they respect that, and they will be genuine in return. Children pick up far more nuances of falsity than we do being more masterful in subtle non-verbal communication than us grown-ups.

    I think not being genuine leads to a lack of trust from children – they don’t understand why you are saying one thing while your body language, vibration etc are saying something completely different.
    .-= Peta Love, Author of Beef Casserole for the Dog’s Soul´s last blog ..Crystal =-.

  23. Thanks for the great post. My daughter is only 4 months old, but I constantly think about how our relationship will be in the future. And I know that how she responds to me in high school starts now even at 4 months old. I’m a full time college student and work part-time and if I’m not careful I can let a whole day go by with not spending enough time with her. But my hopes and dreams are that if we become best friends now that hopefully we will be best friends and have great communication even in high school.

  24. This is a great list! I also encourage my daughters to believe in themselves and not to be influenced by other kids. It’s very hard because they always want to belong and be like everyone else.

    • Hi Linda, this is the difficult part, we all want to belong to a degree and it’s especially hard for kids. I think through our actions our children will learn to be more independent.

  25. @Trish – Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment

  26. A brilliant list to print out and refer to everyday.

    When you cut something in half (to share) let them chose first !
    .-= Trish´s last blog ..Crazy =-.

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