Tips on communicating with your family
We all want our kids to listen when we give them advice or instructions, and for them to come to us with problems they’re facing. Being able to talk openly and honestly with your family helps to build strong relationships.
But it’s not always easy to communicate well with your kids – especially in stressful situations. Here are a few tips:
- Begin by talking about everything (even the difficult things).
- Listen with your full attention – look each other in the eye, to show you’re listening.
- Make it okay to talk about feelings – talk about your own.
- Encourage each other with praise. Try to catch your kids being good, rather than being critical.
- Let them finish what they have to say and ask questions to show you are interested.
- Work together to solve problems.
The same tips apply to talking with your partner – the Raising Children website has more on listening to each other and communicating well, and other suggestions about strengthening family relationships.
It’s important to remember that violence in a relationship is not okay. The Are you okay? website has links to organisations around New Zealand who offer support and advice to people experiencing family violence.