There comes a time when every parent wishes they knew what was on their child's mind. It can be challenging to get kids to open up and talk about their feelings when something is bothering them. However, communicating with your child is an important parenting skill.
Enabling your child to communicate and talk to you about any issues they might be facing is an important life skill. If it's something you feel you might need to work on, today we are sharing six easy ways to help encourage your child to open up about anything that could be bothering them.
Create more family time
Make more time for your children. This will create opportunities for you and your child to chat. We understand that some parents have busy lives working - still, it can be as simple as having breakfast or dinner together. Eating as a family tends to be a natural conversation starter.
Give your child space
Allow your child the freedom to come to you whenever they decide they are ready. Without pressuring them, let them know you are there and prepared to listen. If kids feel pressured into opening up, it can prolong the time it takes for them to confide in you.
Learn to listen
Don't talk or interrupt; listen. Learn to listen to what your child has to say and develop an empathetic listening response towards them. By interrupting and offering immediate advice, you may risk them clamming up again. Instead, ask questions such as "how can I help?".
Never waste a car journey
Every opportunity you find yourself alone with your child uses it as an opportunity to interact. Create more of these opportunities by organising some one-on-one time with your child. Be it playing a board game, going for a walk, or having a lunch date at a local cafe.
Lead by example
Your kids are always watching you, and they monitor your attitude and how you deal with different situations in your life. If you want your child to open up, show them how to do it. Talk about your day and any issues that may have arisen and how you overcome them.
Always be available
Know that you are what they need and want, and they most likely won't choose a time that is most inconvenient for you. Show your child that you are available for them physically and emotionally, no matter the time of day.