Why Talking to Your Children Is So Important
In times when we’re surrounded by all sorts of information, talking to your children has never been so important.
News, information, opinions, and trends constantly bombard us, but we often just don’t have time to talk about them. Information overwhelms us, traps us, and, at times, immobilizes us. And we often don’t have time to think about it and reflect on it.
Therefore, conversation with your children, as a form of communication, is an essential part of their education and development. It’s a way of helping them to process everything they see, read, hear, live, and feel, especially in these times that we’re living in, when everything goes so fast and seems to be very superficial, complex, and constantly changing.
Why is talking to your children so important?
Children grow up and, little by little, they discover more about the world they live in, and how they want to relate to it and be a part of it.
Along the way, they develop their own personality, influenced by their family, social, economic, and cultural experiences. They experience sensations and emotions that condition them, to a greater or lesser degree, to feel better or worse about themselves and their surroundings.
Talking to your children during every stage, moment, and experience of their lives on a daily basis is very important. This isn’t only to help us get close to them and to know about what they’re doing and with whom, what’s happening to them, and what they’re feeling and thinking. It’s also so that, in this way, we can make them feel that they’re being heard and supported.
In this way, we can foster a better relationship with them, based on mutual trust between parents and children.
Furthermore, when we insist on the importance of conversation with our children, we’re not only talking about having some sort of control over them or demanding the exchange of information. We’re talking here about conversing with our children about all types of topics, from the most insignificant to the most difficult.
In other words, good communication with our children doesn’t only mean that they willingly tell us where they are, who they’re with, and what time they’re going to return.
We can also ask them what makes them scared or makes them want to cry. We could ask them what they think about sex and how they relate to it, and if there’s anything that’s making them feel guilty.
“When there is real dialogue, both sides are willing to change.”
How should we converse with our children?
In many important things in life, there are no sure-fire recipes or tips that always work best. And neither are there regarding talking to our children.
However, we’d like to highlight some important points regarding the circumstances in which communication and conversations with children work best. We’d also like to emphasize some strategies and attitudes that parents can adopt in order to be able to have quality dialogue with their children.
- We need to find the right place and time to have important conversations with our children. It’s best to find a place and time where we’re unlikely to have any interruptions.
- Listen to them, pay attention to them and, above all, don’t judge them. It’s important that, as parents, we’re able to listen to our children. We should only ask them questions in order to understand their reasons for saying or doing things. Only when we understand should we give any opinion or point of view, or possibly even scold them.
- Talking with our children doesn’t mean that we have to agree with them. But, if we’re able to give them space to express themselves, then they’ll understand that there are differing opinions about many topics and issues. And, just as parents make the effort to understand them, even if they don’t agree, then they should be willing and able to do the same.
What can we talk about with our children?
As we’ve already said, the dialogue with our children should be constant, daily, and about any topic that’s relevant to them and to us. We shouldn’t try to avoid complicated topics.
It’s true that many parents lack the tools and strategies to deal with conversations with their children about complex or taboo topics. They also find it difficult to deal with opinions or actions that they may not agree with, and that have never happened in the family environment before.
So, that’s why it’s a great idea to establish dialogue with children from a very young age, and to create an open and safe environment for conversation. Because, as they grow up, it’ll feel natural to them to talk about any subject that comes up or anything that happens to them.
And this is precisely what we need to do – to bring our children up to want to have quality dialogue with their parents. The dialogue can be both simple and profound at the same time, with quality time dedicated to it, and with the parents being willing to listen and empathize.
It’s essential for parents to understand that their children are living in a different era from them. We, as parents, can’t impose our own mandates and frustrations on them. Our children are unique people, with dreams and projects of their own and, because of that, they deserve to be listened to.