Children are the biggest blessing of one’s life. Your home is the primary environment in which your child’s potential and personality will take shape, it’s important to make sure that your parenting creates a positive, non-judgmental environment at home to help your child communicate more.
For most parents, communicating with their child is a surprisingly difficult tasks. While some have the experience of parenting their elder children to raise the younger one, many have to depend on books or specialists to learn the techniques and tips to communicate with their children. However, it can still be a tactful task to have a fruitful discussion when there is a conflict.
A lot of parents (even the experienced ones) have a tough time with their kid(s) when there is a disagreement. Don’t worry, it’s common for a family to have a conflict but it’s necessary to handle those conflicts smartly, especially when it comes to the kids.
Below are some tips to help you communicate and resolve the conflicts with your child.
1. Make communication a priority with your child – You need to start effectively communicating with your kids now, so that when they are teenagers, the channels of communication are already open. It’s never too early to start thinking about this.
We learn and grow as parents. You won’t get it right 100% of the time and that is okay. That’s normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch yourselves and be intentional about things as parents.
When communicating a decision, let you kids know that it’s important to sound self-assured, even if they may be nervous. Standing up straight, delivering their message in a clear voice, and looking people in the eye will allow them to get their point across with little room for confusion or miscommunication. Be determined to keep an open dialogue between yourself and your children. You would want to learn how to share your feelings with them and help them share their feelings with you.
2. Reason with your kids at times of disagreement and allow them to understand and learn in a non-judgmental way – Conflicts are inevitable with young children and some conflict is actually necessary to practice problem solving, empathy and self-control. Young children are just beginning to construct what will eventually become mature concepts about conflict and conflict resolution. Their understanding goes through a long, slow progression and is very different from that of adults.
Encourage your kids to share their feelings with you, and let them know that your relationship with hem is is not judgmental. Saying, I feel ____ when you _____ will allow both parties to gain a little more understanding.
3. Incase of a disagreement, express your feelings with your child and work on a solution together – When you speak to your child, make sure you have their attention. When you want your child’s attention, get up and walk over to your child, crouch down or sit at face level. Use a calm, non-judgmental voice.
Children learn most by what they observe so model self-control, respect, and problem solving skills that you would like them to use; with regular practice you will be able to see the change in your kid(s). Anger and judgement don’t help the situation, and often cause a child to become angry or aggressive.
It is very important that you give your child some time to process what you have just said. Most young children need time to process words – a few seconds for the words to sink in, and another several seconds to decide how to respond. Empathize, listen to, reflect and understand your child’s concerns. Join them where they are emotionally. Empathy connects you with your child’s feelings and needs, helping them to feel understood, supported and connected.
4. Be open to your child’s suggestion – Remember to tell your child what is going to happen, when and why. Children feel more secure when they have some warning time and understand expectations. “Five more swings and then we need to leave.” If your child objects use your conflict resolution skills and present the problems. “I want us to leave in five more swings and you don’t want to leave. How can we solve this problem?” Let your child feel some ownership and empowerment in solving the problem. She may come up with a number you can both agree on and then you can leave.
In the beginning of using conflict resolution techniques give your children some positive choices that are age appropriate, and, as they get older, encourage then to come up with solutions on their own before you offer yours.
Feel free to contact me, incase you would like a guided session to implement these techniques as per your situation.