In the Embassy of God, the value of the month of July is family. This time we will consider with you the relevant topic of how to communicate effectively with your children and build close relationships with them through communication.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22: 6)
It is well known and scientifically proven that the lack of communication with children not only worsens their relationship with their parents, but also negatively affects the health and psychological development of the children themselves. Deficiency in communication, especially in infancy and early life, usually leads to delays and abnormalities in psyche development, brain weakening, alienation of the child, hyperactivity, and even premature aging of body cells.
Proper communication with the child not only prevents these problems, but also paves the way for those friendly relations that every parent seeks. So, for successful communication with your child, you should have the following abilities:
- the ability to listen to, and observe your child;
- the ability to focus on understanding what he is telling you;
- the ability to correctly and skillfully express your own thoughts and feelings.
10 tips on how to establish close relationships with your children
Tip 1: Listen! Listen! Listen!
If possible, pause all other activities when your child wants to talk to you. The child should feel that he can talk to you at any moment; otherwise he will think that you do not care about him much. Let him know how important he is to you and that you want to hear what he came to you with. Let the child talk about how he feels. Remember that everyday communication about simple matters makes it easy to discuss more complex issues in the future.
Tip 2: Avoid speaking out of anger and frustration.
Children learn to listen to you when you speak to them calmly. Trustful and respectful relationships are formed only when based on honesty and sincerity. If at any point there is a chance of your emotions flaring up, postpone the conversation.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication …” (Colossians 3: 8)
Tip 3: Remember, there is strength in the ability to give a choice
In communication with the child, try to let him make his own choice. Let him know that by talking to you, you are communicating with him, instead of endlessly preaching or having only your opinion heard. Communication is a two-way process, not a struggle for power.
“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” (Colossians 3:21)
Tip 4: Be a source of inspiration and support
When a child comes to you with his everyday problems or a specific situation, be ready to listen to him, console him and encourage him with the right words. If he trusts you, he should feel liberated and inspired, instead of guilty or disappointed by you.
Examples of words of support:
- Remember, every problem has a solution; no exceptions.
- Think it through carefully, and you will definitely get clarity on how you should proceed.
- I am with you. I am ready to help you. I also went through this when…
Tip 5: Leave your comfort zone; give it to your child
Try to put yourself in your child’s place. This will allow you to fully realize all that your son or daughter is experiencing and having to deal with. Think about how difficult it is for a child to have a conversation with you. Be wary of your reactions.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” (Phil.2: 4)
Tip 6: Judge the action, not the individual
In our world, nothing is more valuable than a person – his personality. Each of us has the right to make a mistake, and no one has the right to condemn anyone else for this. We can analyze the actions of a person, along with the cause and consequences of those actions, but humiliating the person is unacceptable.
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6: 4)
Tip 7: Be the initiator
Identify something that interests or worries your child before he comes to you. This will strengthen your relationships, because the child will constantly feel your concern.
Tip 8: Find time for unusual pastimes
Usually parents have a fixed and busy and routine schedule, and activities that their children love very much are often outside of this schedule – they do not have the time for such needs. Sometimes you should plan activities that seem spontaneous to your child, such as doing homework in the park, traveling somewhere together and productively having a good time with your family. Remember, your children are still children and they will be immeasurably glad that you are so involved in communicating with them.
Tip 9: Ask for forgiveness if you make a mistake
Everyone has the right to make mistakes, and not only children, but also sometimes their parents get it wrong. Do not hesitate to ask your child for forgiveness, it will not demean you, rather on the contrary, it will show that you cherish your relationships.
Tip 10: Simply love!
Show your child love the same way as when he was younger. Let him feel that there is no better time for you than the time spent with him.
“…love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”(John 13:34)
In order for your communication to stimulate friendly and intimate relationships, it is necessary that it takes place in a comfortable environment in which the child can share his thoughts, feelings and ideas. I believe that following these tips will help your family as effectively as they helped mine.
May the Lord bless you and your relationships with your children!
With love and honor, Senior Pastor of The Embassy of God church: Sunday Adelaja
Translated by Perez Adelaja
Edited by Kizito Leacock