Color & Control:

Let’s start talking

By Keshyla Reddick

Sometimes, talking to your child and getting a response back can be like pulling teeth. Here are five tips for making conversing with your child a little easier.

1 Short and sweet: As adults we are used to lengthier conversations. Children, on the other hand, are not. Try to get to the point of your conversation quickly so that you maintain your child’s full attention.

2 Keep things casual: Use leisurely activities such as walking, driving or doing grocery shopping (anything but television) as an opportunity to talk with your child about how they are doing. You might think you know, but sometimes it’s good to hear it from them.

3 Be respectful: If your child does tell you something that they deem important, listen to them. Don’t belittle their problems, even if they seem small or easily fixed. Take them seriously and offer helpful solutions or scenarios.

4 Use the right tone: If your child has something to tell you, how you respond now will influence how much they will tell you in the future. If you sound annoyed or generally uninterested then they might stop or change their mind about what it was they were going to say.

5 Listen: Not all children are looking for advice. Sometimes they just want a friendly ear. Being patient and listening is a good start.

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