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Tips to enhance
communication within
the family:
Listen
.
Communication is
based on saying and listening to each
other’s words and reading each other’s
face and body language. If you want
to talk to your child, you have to start
listening to what she/he wants to say to
you. When they are talking to you, stop
doing what you are doing, look at them
and listen.
When you are upset,
wait
until you calm down. Always talk in a
calm but firm way if necessary. Firm
and positive communication is more
effective than negative and aggressive
words.
Do not compare
your child’s
qualities with anyone else, not even his
siblings. Children need to understand
that they are unique with their
strengths and limits. You can express
your disappointment in a positive
and firm way without comparing or
humiliating.
Do not assume.
Wait for your
kids to finish their say before jumping
to conclusion and evaluation.
Use a positive way of
talking
even when you are unhappy
with your child’s behaviour. Instead of
“don’t do that” or “this is very bad”, say
“I’d like you to do this” or “you can do
better”.
If your child is not very
talkative,
accept this without
criticizing but reinforce his/her
efforts to communicate when he share
something.
(Credit: Valeria Risoli)
Things we should NOT be
communicating with our
kids:
Kids do not need to be informed
about adults’ issues; these include
arguments between parents, financial
difficulties, and family issues. Respect
the age of your children and do not
load them with worries and situations
that they are not emotionally ready to
deal with.
Your children do not need
to know how good other children
are. They need to be praised and
appreciated for what they are and have,
without being compared to anyone
else.
Your children do not need to
be informed about disturbing and
traumatic events of life: let them enjoy
their age without spoiling their serene
development with details that they are
not ready to face.
If you do not know how to talk to
your children about topics that may be
difficult and uncomfortable to explain,
wait for them to ask. Let them know
that you are there any time they have a
doubt or curiosity about anything, let
them feel open and comfortable with
you and wait for them to ask.
If you are facing difficulties within
your marital relationship, your children
do not need to be informed about
details and should not hear negative
comments about their mom or dad.
Parents should not keep secrets
about important events of the family’s
life--divorce or parents, illness of
a family member as children can
understand and sense if something
is happening. Parents should
communicate to their kids what is
going on, always adopting a simple and
clear way of talking, appropriate for
their age.
(Credit: Valeria Risoli)
H
29
Apr/May 2014