When speaking with and listening to small children, lower yourself or bring them up so you are at their eye level.
When communicating with your child, focus on her or him, not on your phone, computer, or any other distraction. They’ll notice if you don’t.
Create traditions that involve communication, such as talking over the day’s highs and lows at mealtime. Over time, these little connections will build a strong bond.
Offer kids encouragement (“That looks fun,” “I can tell you are interested in that”) more than praise (“Good job,” “You’re so smart”). It encourages them to grow.
If you only tell your children the behavior you don’t want from them, they’ll never know what you do want. Be clear about your expectations.
Pay attention to how your child communicates with friends (texts, emails, phone) and try it out yourself. You might find it makes connecting a little easier.
Family traditions from your childhood make great dinner conversation. Kids are curious about our lives before them, and it connects them to their past.
Start young when it comes to pitching in. Make taking care of your home together a natural part of your kids’ life from the time they are toddlers.
Ask your kids open-ended questions (rather than ones with yes/no answers) as a way of engaging them in conversation.
As families grow and change, so do family traditions. Be willing to say good-bye to cherished traditions once they no longer suit your family.
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