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By Steven Aitchison |
How often have you asked your kids 'How was school today?' and the reply was 'it was okay!' and that's it. My youngest son just started high school today and my wife and I have been nervous and anxious for him, although we've been careful not to show him this. I took a day off work so I could spend a little longer with him when dropping him off for school and then to pick him up again. It was heartbreaking to watch him go into school, 'He's all grown up.' I thought with a little lump in my throat, It's like time is slipping by and before we know it he'll be a grown man.
Well, when I went to pick him up, I was all excited and asked:
'Well, how did it go?'
'It was okay' he said smiling, knowing I wanted to hear all about it. I eventually got some blood from the stone and he told me about it in dribs and drabs, however he seemed to enjoy it and has made a few friends already which is always good.
My other son, who is in his 3rd year at high school is exactly the same and sometimes I can't even get blood from that stone. I advised them that we have spent weeks worrying and feeling anxious for them and all we ask in return is a little information about their day at school. So I advise them to give a little more and not have my wife beat the hell out of them just to get a little info. My wife duly comes home, practically running in to see how they got on at school and thankfully they were a little more open.
I guess it's just boys being boys, I remember being exactly the same and always wondered why my mum was so interested in my school activities. My niece, on the other hand, talks at 100 miles per hour and talks for hours.
Here's a few tips I have learned over the years about communicating with children:
1. Always be interested in their day, even if they don't want to tell you anything.
2. Pay attention to them and make them feel as if they are the only person in the room when they speak to you.
3. Make time to sit down with them in a relaxed manner to allow them to open up more.
4. Sit down for family meals (One of the best decisions we made was to always make it a rule to all sit round the dinner table together).
5. Keep eye contact to show you are listening.
6. Don't dismiss the little things they tell you about.
7. Keep close to them when they are talking, don't have a conversation whilst you are in the kitchen and they are in their room.
8. Show them you love them and always tell them you love them.
9. Tell them you believe in them often.
10. Children are not your friends and letting them off with the small things could lead to bigger problems in the future.
11. Always listen to their side of the story if there are any arguments or rows going on.
12. Praise them with every single thing they do well.
13. Be as open and honest as possible with them about EVERYTHING.
14. If you have more than 1 child make time so you can spend time alone together, even if it's driving to the shops.
15. Read between the lines. Kids have a way of telling you something without directly telling you.
16. Don't interrupt children when they are trying to tell you something.
17. Ask their opinion on something that's important to you and them.
18. Tell them about your day and encourage discussion.
19. Give them a hug at least 200 times per day:)
20. Always say please and thank you when speaking to your kids, they will develop manners this way.
21. Encourage them to voice their opinion on the big family decisions, like buying a house, a car etc.
22. Tell them stories of when you were younger, kids always want to hear this.
23. Play games with them as much as possible.
24. Step into their world for a bit and get to learn what they like.
25. Become a child for a day and just have a toy fight, pillow fight, wrestle, and do the silly things that kids do.
26. Respect their privacy, always knock.
27. Give them unexpected presents.
28. Let let go up the down escalator
29. Let them have their own style and find it themselves.
30. be proud of them,even when they didn't quite make but tried their best.
31. Just hold them, that little bit longer than you normally would.
32. Let them find their own hobbies and encourage them in finding them.
33. Stand back to let them them make their own mistakes, they'll grow a lot quicker.
34.Take them to where you grew up and tell them about it.
35. Forgive them as they forgive you.
36. Don't make them wear a jacket if they don't want to even when it's raining.
37. Just love them for the little individuals they are, just love them!
Is there anything else you would add to this list, why not leave a comment below.
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