Three Tips for Improving Communication with Your Kids

When you're exhausted, stressed, or just want a little alone time, it can be a challenge to muster the energy to engage with your kids. Sometimes it's very tempting to turn on the television and try to slip into the other room for a few moments. Hey, we're all human. But taking even just a few seconds throughout the day to be fully present with your children can make an incredible difference in their lives and yours. In fact, it’s so important; there’s a whole day devoted to reminding us to recognize how amazing our kids are. Absolutely Incredible Kid Day® takes center stage every year on the third Thursday in March; this year, it’s coming up on March 18th.

The concept of this special day is to encourage everyone to let kids know how unique and, well, incredible they are. It doesn’t have to be just your children, either; you can write a note or share some kind words with any young person you feel could use some support. The idea is that just taking a few moments to let your children know how much you appreciate and love them makes a huge impact. It can set the wheels in motion for the choices they make for the rest of their lives.

It’s also the perfect reminder for us to step back and examine how we communicate with our kids. Consider these tips when you're talking and interacting with your children:

  • When you're communicating with your children, make sure it's all you're doing. In other words, put the phone down, stop writing your grocery list, and give your kids your full attention. 
  • Keep it positive. This doesn't mean everything has to be all unicorns and rainbows; it means phrase your language in a positive way. For example, instead of saying, "Don't yell inside all of the time," try, "When we're inside, let's speak a little softer." Instead of "Stop tracking mud through the house," try, "Please take off your shoes on the porch."
  • Don't forget to listen. Communication features two essential components, expressing your thoughts and feelings, often using words but also through body language, and listening. In fact, listening is the most critical piece of effective communication. However, sometimes it can be a struggle for us to simply be quiet and listen to our children. We always want to interject or add our own two cents. However, being a good listener not only puts you in better touch with your kids but also shows them that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say (even if it’s about the latest Paw Patrol episode).

If you struggle with distractions when interacting with your kids, try listening to some of MamaZen's “Deeper Bond with My Kids” Mindpower Sessions, like Be More ‘Present with My Child’. They’re the perfect way to quiet your mind and hone in on a central focus, your children. Now, grab a piece of paper and jot down a few encouraging words to share with your children on March 18th.

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