You’re home from school and you ask you child how his day went. `Fine’ he says or `Fun’ or `It was ok’. Do you at times find yourself struggling to get any response or to engage in a way that is more meaningful with your child?
Communication is such an important part of our lives, both in terms of how we connect with our children and even in our daily work environment. Here are some communication tips that may help to improve that connection with your child
The first step is to probe effectively. Instead of asking a yes or no question, that requires a yes or no answer, use instead:
- Statements – talk about what is happening at the moment, and comment on it
- Interjections – repeat what the person has just said
- Questions – make your questions open ended
- Core messages – think about what you are trying to get across and then focus on that core message
- Responding to words in an empathetic way will help your child to feel heard
- Judgements and flexibility – don’t make judgements and be flexible.
- Use micro skills (SOLAR) s= squarely, opposite, O= open posture and open demeanor, L= lean forward, E= eye contact, R= relaxed
- Non verbal communication – this is very important as your body language, facial expressions and tone of voice all convey an unspoken message. What is yours and what is your child’s? Be aware of this. Are you listening?
- Social emotional presence – Your verbal and non verbal behavior needs to be consistent. Non verbal presence with children is particularly important.
- Are you listening accurately?
- What non non-verbal messages is your child sending to you?
- Verbal messages – how is your child expressing himself?
- Context – think of the context in which your child is trying to come from
Happy communicating! At the end of the day that is what connection is all about