How to Improve Communication Between Parents and Children
There is no manual that works for all parents. Each child is different, and the circumstances are never the same. However, there are general norms and guidelines that are useful when it comes to maintaining good communication between parents and children.
It’s very important to know what those guidelines are, which are based on love and respect. These can improve communication in all relationships.
Why is communication between parents and children important?
Good communication helps your child have a strong sense of self-esteem, good relationships with other people and a healthy personality. In addition, it allows both the parent and the child to express how they feel and what they think without being afraid of rejection.
Barriers to communication between parents and children
There are many barriers that, instead of facilitating communication, can damage the emotional relationship between parents and children. Some of these are:
- Threatening: This can make your child feel afraid or resentful.
- Judging and criticizing: If you constantly point out the negative, you can make your child feel inferior and rejected.
- Embarrassing and ridiculing: When you make your child seem bad in front of other people, you can make him or her feel unloved.
- Interrogating: Constantly asking about things can make children think you don’t trust them or that you suspect them of something wrong.
- Social networks: Technology makes it easy to spend all day chatting with friends, but it becomes a distraction when it comes to communication between parents and children.
Tips to improve communication
To improve communication between parents and children, it’s important to create a climate of trust and to understand how children and young people communicate. Some tips to achieve this include:
Try not to impose
When communicating with your child, you shouldn’t impose yourself or give closed-minded opinions. Rather, you have to have a dialogue, ask questions and listen to their reasons for doing things.
Also, avoid controlling all the situations they experience. The best way to help your children with conflicts is to allow them to reflect.
When your child is talking about something important, leave aside what you’re doing and just pay attention. Also, show interest in what they’re explaining and listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to understand.
On the other hand, let them finish speaking before you answer. Nobody likes to be interrupted while they’re talking.
Ask for their opinion on issues that affect the family
Whenever possible, you should ask for your children’s opinions. This will make them feel like they’re part of the family and that their opinions or points of view are important.
“Maintaining good communication allows parents and children to express what they feel and think without being afraid of rejection.”
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Another consideration that you have to apply is the rule that “everything that is said is done.” This means that it’s important to keep the promises you make to your children. If you don’t, they may begin to distrust you.
Give information in a positive way
You must communicate consistent messages and express yourself clearly when asking for something, without being contradictory. In this way, you’ll avoid confusion that may lead to a fight or conflict.
Just talk to your child
When you’re talking with your child, don’t interrupt or constantly criticize. Also, don’t threaten or say hurtful words, as this can cause them to suffer.
Other keys to improve communication
In addition to the tips above, other recommendations to improve communication between parents and children are the following:
- Ask them what they need when they need to talk to you. Do they want advice or just want you to listen?
- Let them make mistakes, because those experiences will serve as learning opportunities.
- When making a decision that affects the family, you must involve your children.
- You must create an emotional climate that helps facilitate communication between the two of you.
- Show empathy. In other words, try to put yourself in your children’s shoes.
In conclusion, communication between parents and children is necessary and essential for the relationship and bond between both to be strengthened every day. In addition, this practice will increase your child’s self-esteem and help you get to know him or her better.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cava, M. J. (2003). Comunicación familiar y bienestar psicosocial en adolescentes. In Actas del VIII Congreso Nacional de Psicología Social (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 23-27). Málaga: Universidad de Málaga. https://www.uv.es/lisis/mjesus/encuentrosenpsico.pdf
- Comesaña, J. M. C. (2011). Bases para construir una comunicación positiva en la familia. Revista de investigación en educación, 9(2), 91-98. http://reined.webs4.uvigo.es/index.php/reined/article/view/116
- Franco, G. E., & Cuartas, G. E. F. (2001). La comunicación en la familia (Vol. 72). Palabra.
- Musitu, G. y Cava, M.J. (2001). La familia y la educación. Barcelona: Octaedro.
- Uribe, S. G. (2006). Comunicación familiar: un mundo de construcciones simbólicas y relacionales. Universidad de Caldas.