Here are a few ways that we can try to communicate better with our kids:
- When they are talking to us, ask them to use their big boy or big girl voices. I have even had to directly instruct my kids to lower their voice or I have had them repeat after me what grown up voices sound like. This can sometimes eliminate the whining and help them learn to communicate their needs in a constructively.
- Get on their level: When you are talking to each other, kneel or bend down and look them in the eye.
- Turn off the extra “noise.” I find one of the best times to talk to my kids is when we are in the car. Turn off the radio, ignore the phone (you shouldn’t do that while driving anyway) or turn off the videos and talk instead.
- 3 Good, 1 bad: After school, at dinner, or before bed time, ask your child to tell you 3 good things that happened today and if any bad things happened. Then share 3 things about your day.
- Create conversation “jar.” Put conversation starters in a jar or on a ring and keep it in your purse to use while in the car, waiting in line, at the dinner table or other down times. There are lots of ideas online.
- Eat dinner together. Studies have shown that kids who eat with their parents are healthier, happier and better students.