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Here’s What to Do About Finding it Difficult to Talk to Children.
When that little bundle of joy first arrives, everything seems almost too perfect. But as kids grow up and learn to talk back and do their own thing, it can become a little more challenging for many parents.
A recent study in 2018 found that nearly 70% of parents struggled to communicate effectively with their children.
Whether it’s your 8-year-old starting to use bad language and pushing the boundaries more than you’d like or a teenager that communicates in grunts, eye-rolls and slamming doors, every parent knows things aren’t ever easy.
Some take a more authoritarian approach to communication with their children that often puts up barriers. Others become far too permissive, allowing their kids to get away with anything. It’s an approach that teaches them nothing about boundaries and self-control as they soon spiral out of control.
Finding the right balance is key and there’s no easy way to do that, as most parents will tell you.
A Child’s Brain is Different
While we can comprehend that a child’s brain is still developing, many people don’t understand just how different it is from an adult brain.
For example, at the age of three, a child’s brain is almost twice as active as an adult one, with more than 15,000 connections per neuron. Children also access many different parts of their brain when handling tasks such as communication. As we get older, our brains become more ‘efficient’ in processing certain things and that communication is confined to a few select areas.
Having to learn to communicate better can also be seen as a sign of failure. After all, you’ve been doing it all your life. Right?
But that’s exactly what you should be doing. Communication is a skill. It can be learned, developed and learned again. That can make a huge difference to the relationship between you and your child, especially if you are finding it difficult to talk with your children.
Finding it Difficult to Talk to Children – 3 Expert Tips
1. Learn to Listen to Your Children
The first thing you need to do as a parent is to learn to listen. Paying close attention can be difficult if a lot is going on and you’re very busy. It’s simpler sometimes to only lend your child half an ear when they’re trying to tell you something.
The truth is that good listening skills are just as important as speaking skills. There’s a process called active listening where you make a concerted effort not only to hear the words someone is speaking but the other non-verbal communication that often accompanies it.
2. Switch Places with Your Children
One thing that you can do is try and swap places with your child and see the world from their point of view. For younger children, everything is a learning experience, a lot of things are new and exciting and frightening in equal measure.
Sharing in their journey as they move from child to teenager and beyond is one of the most rewarding parts of bringing up a family. Parenting coaches often encourage parents to take a step back and reevaluate a situation, especially when a child is behaving badly and look at the world from their little one’s or teenagers point of view.
3. Don’t Get Frustrated
If you are finding it difficult to talk to children you are not alone. Every parent knows that bringing up a child is challenging, difficult and amazing all at the same time. It’s important to stay on an even keel and not get too frustrated by little failures. If we do, we tend to move away from good communication and try to avoid confrontation.
Take a Course in Public Speaking
It might seem like a big detour from speaking to the children to then talk about taking a course about speaking in public. As I’ve said, however, communication is a skill and there’s a lot you can learn about what you say, how you say it and when to say it.. And that can have a huge impact on the relationship between you and your children.
Learning to speak in public gives you some excellent life skills that are also very important in the family home. They will help when you need to give presentations, do an interview or have been tasked with giving a speech for that special family event.
To find out more have a look at my public speaking and confidence courses