How do you get your kids to easily open up communication with you?

When I was young, I remember coming back from school and having my lunch with my grandmother, sharing my day with her .

When your children come back home from school, it would be great if there is someone at home to meet and greet them. Good because … having someone to share their day, their ups and lows, to discuss about any issues they may have.

If your children go to after school care, the same principle applies. Give them an opportunity to settle down when they get home. It has been a long day for everyone, why not have some hot drinks together before getting on with your cooking.

Alternatively, get them some light snacks or drinks so they can  finish up their homework while sitting at the bench with you – while you organise and start the cooking.

By doing that, you child will sense your emotional ability to engage with them, that you are interested to know about their day and hear what they have to share. Your child will feel safe and relaxed when sharing and communicating with you.

What if you have a really bad day and feel too tired to talk?

You can explain to your children about your day and that you would love to catch up with them the next day when you are better rested. Or use this opportunity to share your experience with your children (depending the age of course). Remember communication runs both ways. We all learn by listening.

Below is a simple suggestion that you can try:

  1. Make yourself a hot chocolate drink.
  2. Sit down in a comfortable chair, drink in one hand, take several deep breaths and feel the warmth and taste of the hot chocolate.
  3. You can get your kids to tell you some funny jokes – I can guarantee a good laugh will potentially change your mood.

Alternative, head to the mirror, look at ‘you’ in the mirror and smile. You can’t possibly feel angry when you are smiling!

Being emotionally available when communicating is a powerful way to engage in a good conversation with your children, especially your teenagers. If your kids feel that you have other things more important on your mind and their needs are not being met, sadly they will sometimes look elsewhere for the support.