Communicating With Your Child

1) Be an Active Listener: Listen to your child by looking at them, observing their body
language, hearing what they say before you formulate an answer, acknowledge what
they say even if you disagree, and don't interrupt them until they finish talking.

2) Try to spend at least 10 minutes of time each day devoted to just your child. This
can be done at night before they go to bed. Whenever it is give all your attention
to your child for 10 minutes daily and to no one else! If it is at the same time each
day, they will look forward to it and feel secure knowing they will get your time.

3) Show you care: When you are in a disagreement with your child show them you
still care and appreciate that they are sharing their feelings with you. Encourage
them to share feelings and then acknowledge their feelings. Then explain how you
feel (see below.)

4) Use I Messages: We are all great at blaming others and using You Messages e.g.
"You never clean up your room." vs. "I feel upset that your room is dirty and I would
like it clean." State your feelings by saying "I feel ____" instead of "You make me feel_____."
When we use I Messages we are sharing our feelings as opposed to attacking others
with our feelings when we use You Messages.

5) Model behavior: Behave the way you want your children to behave. Children will imitate
behavior they see in the adults in their home (and in the teen years they will imitate their peers.)
They will pay more attention to your behavior than your words.

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