As children grow they begin to receive a lot of new information that opens their lives to the world outside.
Then, it is extremely important to create the climate of trust so that our children can ask questions and speak freely with us. The development that occurs between seven and twelve years of age is enormous and is a stage in which parents must lay the foundation for effective communication in the family.
In this phase, children must be equipped with the ability to reason with their friend and peers, and to understand the necessity of respecting their parents’ decisions on many issues such as: time spent using new technology, things they buy, decisions to take part in or decline certain programs, which TV shows to watch etc. The answers to these questions are not self-evident, and though we may be able to respond quickly, it is advisable to search for the opportune moment to take up the most serene argument with our children. For some questions that may be prompted— if it is not raised spontaneously by the child—it is our task to facilitate discussion on the topic and provoke the conversation to its completion taking advantage of the situation.
We have to take the chance on the spot, otherwise it will be handled by our child outside the home very soon. The origin of life being explained by ourselves or got from peers make a big difference to our kids. .
These are some ways we can open communication within our families.
1. Create occasions for dialogue within the family, for example, have dinner together without television and cell phones.
2. Take weekend excursions with the whole family. It enables conversation that lack of time and contact to not allow during the week.
3. Conduct family chats in a way that siblings do not overlap one another or prevent the most timid children from speaking their minds.
4. Occasionally dedicate exclusive time with each child. In a relaxed environment it is easier for kids to share their anxieties with us.
5. Give importance to all of their concerns, from disputes with their friends to the first pimple that appears and makes them feel horrible. Never laugh at children in such a way we would compromise all communication.
6. An ideal moment for chatting is right before bed, when the child is already under the covers and feels relaxed. We can sit together with him or her and recount the things of the day and its particular challenges.
7. Who doesn’t remember Sunday mornings in our parents’ room? Children come in after having just woken up, climb into the warm covers and probably even push into you for something familiar. Don’t let this moment escape.
8. Take advantage of opportune moments. Another good occasion could be when one spouse is out of town for work and the children race to the bed to sleep with mom or dad. That night perhaps is the time to put down the book and dedicate ourselves to talking with our kids.
9. Take advantage of birthdays or feast days to take them out from school for a special lunch. It will make them feel important in front of their classmates and they will be more receptive to your advice.
Reproduced, with kind permission, from http://www.hacerfamilia.com/