Although 21 st century kids exhibit articulation skills beyond our imagination, they don’t always open up
about matters that really bother them. Greater openness is vital in a child-parent relationship.
When was it the last time you remember having a meaningful conversation with your child? It is
essential to know of ways to talk to your child naturally and pass the message that you care. Let’s first
gain an understanding of the basics of a good conversation.
Being able to really listen and render a sensitive response
Focussing on body language and tone apart from words
Steering conversation in a manner that the person tells what he/she is feeling
Taking the age of the child into account and understanding the attention span
Here are a few tips to improve your communication with your child.
1. Listen During the In-Betweens
Most adults are under the misconception that real talking is about relating deeply through an eye to eye
conversation. On the contrary, kids usually open up while they are in the midst of other activities such as
while walking or driving to school, bath time, and bedtime.
So, try to catch up on each other during the ‘in-betweens’ of life.
2. Respect the Child’s Conversational Style
We have all heard of unique learning style, but did you know every human being has a unique
conversational style as well?
One child may be a vivacious morning talker while the other may get charged after school. Some talk at
a slower pace and there are others who can’t endure questioning.
The key to openness is to resist changing the inherent style of conversation. Instead, respect the natural
timing and manner of talking. Soon you will make the connection you have always longed for with your
3. Tune into the Body Language
Monitor the non-verbal messages. Tune into your child’s body language and facial expressions to attain
more profound essence. For instance, “You seem rather quiet today? Was all good at school?”
Listening is not only about hearing the words but grasping what’s behind them.
4. Respond Genuinely
Who doesn’t appreciate a genuine response? It touches your heart and makes you want to share more.
Responses like, “Are you kidding me?”…..”Tell me more about it?” are enveloped with real emotion.
Such format of communication helps in tracking their daily lives. However, remember not to go over-
the-top with your reactions nor act like a therapist.
5. Trivial Leads to Details
Avoid scaring children with tough questions such as “How did that make you feel?”
It’s daunting for kids when we delve for deeper feelings. Stick to the superficial and read between the
lines. The trivial aspects will lead you to the embedded detail.
6. You Will Have to Talk, Too
Next time you are at the dinner table, talk about your day at work. We assure you, your story will not
reach its end!
You will have to commence talking yourself if you desire your child to talk to you. Your conversation will
remind the child about things that occurred earlier in the day with him. However, avoid grilling with
endless queries. Too many questions can be perfect conversation busters.
7. Pay Attention to Subtle Signals
Despite being a smart generation, our children still need and seek our guidance. Don’t be afraid of giving
your point of view and ideas. Utilise your life’s wisdom to show them the direction but keep it short.
Avoid lectures and stay agile to subtle signals of going on too long.
8. Be Available to Listen
It’s difficult to predict when your child will feel the need to communicate something important. Don’t
miss the opportunity. Be available when they need you and be willing to listen.
If you follow these suggestions, you will see the change in your bonding very soon. Good communication
is about listening to others and talking in a manner that makes the child listen to you. Keep trying – you
will get better and wiser with practice.