Any time you pick up any self-improvement book or read an article on relationships, the most common thing mentioned as an obstacle to success is poor communication.
Since our children are by far one of the most important and complex relationships we are growing through, I'd like to share with you some skills necessary to enrich and enhance our communication. Although I am focusing on our kids, these suggestions apply to ANY relationship that is meaningful to you or that you hope to make stronger.
So here we go:
- Remember that every statement or comment does not require a response (especially the ones that involve whining, disrespect or nagging)
- Use body language consciously. It doesn’t lie.
- Choose your words carefully. Just like nails on a piece of wood, even when you take the nail out, the whole may still be there!
- Speak in simple terms and with clarity. (don't use sarcasm, big words or demeaning tone)
- Avoid interrupting people. (Our children ARE people and deserve respect and to be listened to. One voice at a time!)
- Listen with your mouth closed. (it goes a long way, especially for those of us who tend to prepare answers in our head. That makes it really hard to be present and fully listen!)
- Learn about Emotional Intelligence (empathy, self-awareness, and teamwork) to improve your communication skills.