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 I just saw this in the group Parenting Positive Kids and wanted to share it here.

Carmen S

Posted by

on Aug. 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM Cafemom Blogger


Oh, talking. What a tangled web that can be.

I don't mean talking with your friends. For the most part, that's easy. Talking with coworkers, that can be a bit challenging - but nothing like getting your kids to open up to you. For some reason, children begin to view their parents as the enemy shortly after beginning their schooling, and the opportunities that you have to enjoy open and honest conversations about the things that may be on their minds simply vanish. Especially as the kids get older, they confide in their parents less and less.

What's a parent to do?

Many parents give up on the extended communication, vowing to let their child come to them when the time is right. I'm not such a big proponent of that. I think that we need to meet our children more than half way - in fact, I venture to say that we need to expend about 90% of the effort in the relationship. Asking your child to sit down and chat with you, though - can you feel me shaking my head "no" right about now? When those big questions come, most kids clam up and shut down. The face to face approach almost always results in a big, dead silence and avoided eye contact. Instead, here are some of my best methods to getting my kids to open up.

  • Go for coffee or breakfast - or lunch - Often what can't be said over the table at home, or as your daughter is jumping out of the car on the way to school, can easily be discussed over a cup of fancy coffee. I know that my own children feel like big shots when I take them out to breakfast or lunch one on one. It can be a great ice breaker to sit at the table in a coffee shop with a blended drink and a muffin.
  • Cook together - when you are cooking, you are focused on something else, and it takes away the "Deer in a headlights" look that many kids seem to get when you open a conversation. Ask your teen to help you make cookies, and often, the conversation can just take on a life of its own. 
  • Talk in the car - again, it's the best way to have a conversation that can be a little intense. If your focus is on the road, it's not on your child's face, and that can allow your child to open up and ask those difficult questions.
  • Text - This is trite, but it's really true. Often we can say things via text message that we might not have the courage to say with our voice. Tell your child that he can always send you a text if he can't find the words, and you'll be surprised at how opften your notifications will buzz.

 How do you make sure the lines of communication stay open between you and your kids?

by on Aug. 21, 2012 at 9:33 AM
Replies (11-20):
Harris06
by Megan on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

My girls are so young that we just talk whenever right now. We'll play it by ear as they grow and figure out our best way of communication for us. That being said, I will always make sure that they know that I am always here and never too busy to talk.

SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:22 AM

 Sweet!

Quoting mamivon2:

we talk all the time.. but we have our bonding talking time when I tuck her in at night

 

kurtkamkaitsmom
by Kerry on Aug. 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

 good ideas  when my dauughter gets a little older... I have two older boys and they talk to me all the time.. 

SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

 Since the boys talk to you, I'm betting she will too. I think boys are more hesitant to open up.

Quoting kurtkamkaitsmom:

 good ideas  when my dauughter gets a little older... I have two older boys and they talk to me all the time.. 

 

SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 10:21 PM

 Night chats in the dark...a good idea.

Quoting Kiwismommy19:

All good ideas. Ki's shared more about her feelings about what she calls the "divorcement" (mine and her dad's divorce) over text than talking since she got her phone.
Also, night time chats when she's in bed and it's dark seem to be easier on her.

 

MaddieLainesMom
by Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Haven't rally had to face this issue with my DD yet. She's 5 so she'll pretty much tell me anything. I just try to actively listen to her and not pass judgement on anyway that she's feeling so that we can keep the lines of communication unscathed as long as possible. 

For me, writing my mom little notes or letters was the easiest. We kept a little journal going when I was in high school. We would write back and forth in it and my mom tried (whenever possible) not to mention any of it face to face unless I brought it up. It made it a lot easier on me and I think really helped us stay connected when I was a teen. I will probably implement something similar with my DD later on.

SweetLuci
by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 7:07 PM

 What a great way to keep communicating, the mom & daughter journal.

Quoting MaddieLainesMom:

Haven't rally had to face this issue with my DD yet. She's 5 so she'll pretty much tell me anything. I just try to actively listen to her and not pass judgement on anyway that she's feeling so that we can keep the lines of communication unscathed as long as possible. 

For me, writing my mom little notes or letters was the easiest. We kept a little journal going when I was in high school. We would write back and forth in it and my mom tried (whenever possible) not to mention any of it face to face unless I brought it up. It made it a lot easier on me and I think really helped us stay connected when I was a teen. I will probably implement something similar with my DD later on.

 

heather4511
by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:31 PM
This is great. Communication is so important.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
KaylaMillar
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM
What great ideas
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
KymberleeAnn
by on Oct. 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Good idea, thanks for sharing it.

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