3 Ways To Increase Communication With Your Child
By Caron C. Andrews
Building good communication with our kids is a powerful tool to help them develop their own healthy sexuality. When we talk openly and unashamedly about sex with our kids in regular conversation woven through our days, we create the right environment in which to discuss difficult and sensitive subjects. But the key is to have regular, ongoing discussions—the one-time “sex talk” just doesn’t cut it. Here are three ways you can increase your communication with your children.
- Be Available
We can’t let ourselves get too busy to have time for our families. Be available for spontaneous opportunities to discuss what’s on your kids’ minds. Make time to just be together, unstructured. Since so many of us have a variety of activities to get to each week, use the time driving in the car for conversation by turning off the radio and devices. Interact with each other instead!
- Don’t Turn Conversations into Lectures
It’s easy for parents to use examples of what’s going on in other people’s lives, especially their kids’ friends’ lives, to lecture on shoulds and shouldn’ts. When your child tells you about some trouble or a tricky situation his friend got into, use the opportunity to ask him how he feels about it. Encourage him to think about what he would do in that situation. Share your own thoughts about it without lecturing.
- Go Beyond “Yes” and “No”
Asking questions that have simple “yes” or “no” answers can derail a conversation fast. Dig deeper to find out what your child thinks and why. This not only opens up the conversation and allows each of you to explore and debate important topics, it shows your child that you care for her and that her thoughts matter to you.
Every parent with growing children knows how fast time goes by. Take action to make good communication habits part of your daily lives with your kids as early as possible. It will helps your relationship be strong and will give you lots of chances to encourage your kids’ healthy sexual development.
See our new book 30 Days to a Stronger Child to find lessons related to this topic and learn ways and activities to help your child be stronger!