Communication. It’s necessary. It’s important. But be careful, how you talk to your children.
In the last post I talked about engaging, and asking questions to your children in an effort to begin conversations. Now, lets talk about the way we talk to them when the utility of communication is all that you are looking for. Do you think about how your everyday communication of “come down to dinner”, “it’s time to go” , “clean your room” is received by your children? The way you communicate often determines if they hear the message you are trying to get across.
Remember that it is all too possible for you to talk to them without engaging, or encouraging them. It’s not just what you say, but much of communication with children has to do with how you say what you say. Don’t forget that not long ago, they couldn’t understand the language coming out of your mouth, they just understood the tone of voice and the non-verbal cues that you gave to them as a baby (and they learned what words meant based on how you said them).
So how do you speak to your children?
Tone: is it kind, loving, encouraging?
Eye contact: are you making it, keeping it, trusting it?
Attention: do they have yours, and is it undivided?
These are things that will invite your children to talk with you. When you talk to your children rather than at them, they are far more likely to respond in a way that will please you.
“WE ARE MEN OF ACTION…”
So, Dad… I want to challenge you! Every time you speak to your child(ren) today, completely stop everything that you are doing, get on their level, look at them in the eyes, and speak in a loving and in an encouraging manner. Allow your non-verbal cues to be consistent with the message you are trying to convey. Show them how important they are to you, while you are trying to communicate with them.
You can do it! Talk to your kids today!