Communication with children is not always easy. "But the basic skills of communication like listening, timing, affection and respect can form the groundwork for mutual understanding between you and your children", says Ray Guarendi, a clinical psychologist who specializes in family issues. Everywhere you look, childrearing experts are giving advice on how to communicate with children.
Our emotions are so closely linked to our children's well being that no parent is calm all the time. The more worked up we are about something, the more likely we may say something we wish, we could unsay. When an issue threatens to get out of hand, it might help to say, "I am really upset to say anything right now. I'll get back to you when I am calm". Sometimes it helps to calm oneself down during potentially explosive situations with the thought 'Never forget what you were like a child'. Sometimes I wonder how we as adults act with restraint around other adults. No matter how agitated we feel, I am sure we owe the same to our children.
It helps to give the child a fair hearing. When the child has finished speaking, rephrase for him what he has just told you, and then ask if that is essentially what he meant. Make sure you understand the who, the what, the where and the why of what your child tells you before giving advice or taking any action. We, very often, forget that the child's perception is not an adult's. Recognizing that life's little problems seem bigger when you are a child should add a few minutes to our patience threshold.
Affection, the softest and quietest approach to communication, can heal harsh moments. There are quite a few times when it seems inappropriate to talk. Affection is a silent sign that no matter what disagreements or conflicts arise; parents and children can eventually talk.
"Mothers, touch your children,
Fathers, hug them tight,
Show them what a gift they are,
To love them feels so right"