The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 10

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 10

Oct 30

Communication Blockers (part 2)

The final blocker this week is one that we all have to deal with at one time or another.  It is impatience.  This is an emotion that can sometimes be avoided if we are simply more organized and not having to rush everywhere.   But ultimately patience is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which means that it is not something that we come by naturally.

When we are impatient with our children for whatever reason we can more easily brush off what they are saying and not truly listen to them.   If we get in a pattern of impatience it can cause them to clam up and either turn elsewhere to be listened to or internalize everything.  Both of these are bad especially when it is our job to make them feel loved and valued.

Choose to be patient with your children.  Make sure that you are spending time communicating with God.  Only through His strength can you be patient through any frustration, and communicate to your children not only your love for them but ultimately His!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 
The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 9

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 9

Oct 29

Communication Blockers (Part 1)

For many, the summer is a down time for the family because the kids are not in school there is extra time to do some fun family activities.  With the start of the school year, for some even this week, the family day to day activities begin in full swing.  Even if your children are not yet in school many churches kick off all of the fall events and small groups as well.  All this to say we are no longer in relaxed mode and for many the busy season begins.  It is so easy to look back during the holiday season and think, “wow where did the fall go?!”

This time of crazy schedules can really be a communication blocker if we allow it to be.  We must carve out time for family to be together and be intentional to take full advantage of those small moments we have previously discussed.  Sit down with your spouse and schedule in family nights if you have to.  Look for times daily to communicate with your kids.  Be Intentional!

We need to make each day count and not just live for the weekend or those vacation days.  So often it is easy to pass the time or just attempt to relax in front of the TV.  But this is another thing that can become a communication blocker if we don’t set up boundaries around it.

Like we have stated in the past it can be a fun family night to pop popcorn and have a movie night.  We cannot however depend on the television to be our only source of family entertainment.  The family obviously won’t be communicating if they are all zoned out in front of the TV.  Have a family game night when every one is done with their homework or think of another fun activity where the family can interact.

Another place the TV should not be allowed is the dinner table.  Dinner can be a great segue from the craziness of everyone’s day into the relaxation of the evening.  But if the TV is on, even in the background, it will distract from everyone being able to talk about their day.

Technology

Another blocker for teaching communication, ironically, can be technology.  One of the things that technology is supposed to do is make it easier for everyone to communicate.  In fact through things like facebook and twitter we can be updated on even the small details of what is going on in each other’s lives.  Through texting we can discreetly communicate small snippets of information.  Even email has replaced most interoffice communication and the need for buying stamps.  But with the need for instant communication we may be loosing the personal touch which comes with face to face communication.  There was a time when you wouldn’t think of telling something important over the phone because it was too impersonal.  Now we blast our important announcements over the social networks and twitter.

We need to be careful through all of this that our children don’t miss out on being taught how to communicate properly.  If the only way they are learning to communicate is through text and tweets, they are seriously missing out.  You cannot have a deeply heartfelt conversation about emotions through this venue.  That training takes lots of time given by mom and dad.  Make sure there are times of your day where there are “no cell phones allowed”, so your family can communicate to each other with some good old fashioned talking!

Peers

There is another area that can become a blocker for teaching positive communication and that can be a child’s peers.  Peers can be a positive practicing tool for communication, but if peers are the only place our children are learning how to communicate it can be detrimental.  If we as a family are not placing an emphasis on communication then our kids will have to learn somewhere.  Peers can also end up being a listening substitute for your child.  This means that if your child doesn’t feel listened to at home they will search for a place where they feel that accepted.  One of the ways we can make our child feel valued and accepted at home is simply by listening to them.

A second way that peers can be a blocker for positive communication is if they are a negative influence on your child.  Issues with attitude and negativity can rub off on our children if we are not careful.  As parents we need to take the time to get to know the people who can also have a big influence on our children, their friends.

 
The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 8

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 8

Oct 28

Grandparents and Other Adults

A last great venue for teaching communication is one that is sometimes overlooked.  It is the grandparent.  In today’s transient culture many families don’t live down the street from each other anymore.  In fact, many don’t even live in the same state.  The tragedy of this is that for most families the grandparent is an awesome tool  for teaching communication.  Many would love to do nothing more than listen and give of their time to their beloved grandchildren.  This is a great tool because it also teaches children how to relate to a person of a different generation but also can be a wealth of wisdom because of life experience.

Many families don’t live close to their grandparents and some unfortunately don’t have great relationships with their grandparents.  This is where there is a great advantage to having a church home.   There are many couples whose children are far away that can be great “adopted grandparents” for your family.

 
The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 7

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 7

Oct 27

Bed Time

Another great venue for communication is bedtime.  When children are small it is so important to create a bedtime routine.  Many of these routines include reading to your child and singing before they go to sleep.  The important thing about these sweet times with our children is just getting to be with them in these last few moments of their day.  As our children grow, many times we leave these “bedtime routines” behind.  Bedtimes can even become a battle and a time of frustration for both parent and child.

Many times if a bedtime routine can be put back into place a battle can be avoided.  Instead of rocking your child to sleep with a song, you can sit with them on their bed and listen.  For many kids a hard day is being processed through in these last moments before going to sleep.  If we are there in these moments with our older kids, just listening, we can help by offering support or even just the comfort of mom or dad.  The great bedtime moments don’t have to be left behind as our kids get older.  We again just have to be intentional in giving our kids our time and teaching communication.

For more insight listen to today’s podcast.

 
The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 6

The Importance of Teaching Your Child to Communicate | Part 6

Oct 26

Drive Time

Many moms today spend countless hours in the car, aka the family taxi, because of the many extracurricular activities their children are involved in.  Some parents sacrifice their time driving their kids to Christian school or braving the carpool line.

We can turn these times into communication training because we have a captive audience.  Sure there may be days where your son or daughter would rather sleep then talk but there are also moments where great conversations can happen.   It is our job as parents to create the atmosphere for these moments and then wait.  Some times we can spark conversation by just asking a few questions and then listening.  You may even have to set up some boundaries for older kids, such as their music or cell phone is not on until they get home.   We must take advantage of even the small minutes for communication.

As parents we also need to keep in mind that kids are often the most willing to talk when their hands are busy.   This is where we can get creative.  Pulling a child in to help you make dinner can not only teach them a life skill but can open the doors of communication.   There are certain hobbies that our kids like to do that can be great talk times, such as throwing a ball or shooting hoops.  Even some old timey family activities can spark great conversation, like keeping a puzzle out to do as a family or working on a model.

Some activities can even become a family routine like a walk after dinner or a family game night.  We can also easily sit with our kids for company as they are doing a chore.  While your child is straightening their room go sit on their floor and just listen.   Sometimes the unexpected moments can be the best times to open the doors of communication.  We always have to be on the look out to not only see the opportunities around us but to create some fun opportunities for teaching your child how to communicate.

For more insight listen to today’s podcast.