The holiday season is a perfect time to rekindle effective communication time between parents and children. Values such as honesty, respect, and compassion are values that parents want their children to have. And one of the best ways to ensure that parents have an opportunity to instill such values in their children is to have regular meetings with their children.
Parents’ having regular meetings with their children is a value within itself. Today families don’t talk to each other like they used to. Because of family structure, new technology, economic challenges, and social change, maybe it’s time to re-think how families communicate with one another?
Effective communication is best when practiced on a regular basis. Families should talk to one another (a sit down meeting)at least once a week. Just as companies typically have regular meetings with their employees; it makes sense to have regular meetings with children. Businesses meet to discuss ideas, and strategies that will make their product or service better for its customers.Aren’t children just as important(if not more) than those products and services?
So what are some of the best ways for parents to have regular meetings with their children?
- Weekly sit down meetings that last for 20-45 minutes, e.g. after meals
- Take your child for a walk in the park, or even through the mall
- Have discussions while taking a long car, bus, train or plane ride
- Volunteer for activities that allow parents, and children (teens and older) to work together
Whichever way you choose to regularly communicate with your children, make sure that you discuss school issues, as well as personal issues. If you have more than one child, make sure to give each child their one-on one time with you. However, there are times when group sessions are appropriate. And when two parents are in the home – both should participate if possible.
Whether you choose to incorporate your regular discussions into dinner time, or go for a walk, remember to give your child your undivided attention, be a good listener, respect their point of view, be mindful of your body language, tell them that you love them, have fun, and trust the process.
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