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Ways to Get Your Children to Open Up

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WAYS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO OPEN UP

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Joshua Isibor

Getting your child to talk to you or open up about something is not what you can achieve in the twinkle of an eye. But yes, for your child to open up, it depends on the level of connection you two have.

When I say connection, it simply means that it’s something you build way before time.

A child that’s not well bonded with you can never be open to tell you some things he or she considers secret.
The connection is easily built where there is good communication.
And to be a good communicator, you have to master the skill of communication.

9 Ways to get your kids or children open up

1. You must be a good listener:

Children are prone to talk and ask lots of questions. It’s your responsibility as a parent to listen to your child even in the smallest conversation.
Sometimes, it may seem to be a very unimportant or “useless” question. Notice that the phrase useless is in quotes, this is a clear indication that what seems useless to you is very useful to your child and your answer or reaction to the question passes a whole lot of message to your child.

Listening is the major factor that evaluates your level of communication.

Most parents do not have the patience enough to listen to their children, that’s why they cut short the child and once there’s an interference, the child won’t go further.

Hence, while listening,

A.Avoid cutting words from your child’s mouth:

Allow the child to finish up what he or she has in mind. Don’t assume you already know where the child is heading. You might be surprised that what you had thought is totally wrong. So, allow your child to talk. All you need to do is just to LISTEN.

Now, here’s what I call ACTIVE LISTENING

While you listen, make sure to engage where your child needs it. Don’t just say, keep talking I’m listening. This will make it boring for your child and there won’t be any other choice than to halt.
Be sure to make the conversation an interesting one.

2..Ask questions where necessary:

Most importantly, avoid asking judgemental questions.

No matter what it is your child is talking about, don’t react harshly or ask questions that could prompt the end of the discussion.

3. Dont be too quick to advise or bring in suggestions:

Your child could just need to pour out his or her heart out. Probably, it’s been piled up throughout the day, so, there’s a need to get freed up.
Allow that to happen.

Instead of advising, ask your child any of these questions,

Oh, I see this sucks you up, What are your plans towards it?

I understand how mad you are now, How do you want to handle it?

4. Maintain a very good atmosphere:

This is where the need for emotional intelligence plays its role. Your facial or body expression matters a lot. You must keep the atmosphere safe for the conversation to continue.

Imagine a situation, where your child comes to tell you that he wants to be gay, or that she’s being attracted to ladies only.
Of course, this could spur up negative emotions immediately and you would want to react.
The trigger here isn’t really what your child said, but the parental ego that questions your value, suggesting to you that you have failed as a parent.
The ability to handle this without letting the conversation continue is what is called emotional intelligence.

In such cases, use questions that require an answer that would keep the conversation going. Using the WH questions would only encourage defensive answers.
So, instead of asking Why would you choose that? Or How could you say such after all I have taught you?
You should rather say This is really very challenging. You must have thought about it for you to decide that now. Would you mind sharing with me your reasons?

Or Wow! I’m really surprised(put a smiling face no matter how hard) , you must have a lot of reasons to think in this way. Tell me why you think so, maybe it’s a misunderstanding.

Responses like these would make your child relax and be more eager to talk. But when you react, your child would feel unease and would never want to speak anymore.

5. Have a Child and Me Time:

Make time for your child each day. Spend quality time together.
Always engage in activities that interest your child and build a strong bond.

One of my favourite quotes in parenting IS Avail your presence more than your present because your presence matters more to your child is the best explanation for this.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just a minute that you spend together but let it be memorable.

There are lots of activities you can do with your child depending on your child’s interests.

6. Don’t react angrily if you do not get an answer immediately:

Patience is one skill every parent must master. You must be patient enough with your child. Follow the child calmly. Don’t force words because when you do, you will only get a lie or cover-up.
Allow your child to be when it seems he or she is not ready to talk.
What you need to do is to use another approach.

An example of another approach is using a statement like this;

It’s OK, I will be in my room. When you’re ready to talk, just ring the bell.

7. Always be available and ready to listen:

Coming back from work and having a hectic day, then being welcomed with questions or trying to start a conversation, could be overwhelming. This could make you shut your child, yell, or even use a harsh word.
Being available doesn’t mean that even while you’re tired you must have to converse with your child.
There are better ways to handle such situations. Instead of halting a conversation that could open up to you what your child is going through at the moment, being an avenue to instil your value in your child, rather Use a more positive response;
Please, dear, I’m really so worn out now, could you please come back in ten minutes?

Be specific with the time you’d be ready to talk. This would be more effective to give your child a sense of value.

8. Don’t always cast a blame on your child:

If you’re the type of parent who is very quick to blame your child for his or her mistakes, you are only giving your child the wrong signal that you’re not the best person to talk to.
You must avoid the urge to blame.
Always find out the reason for what happened and involve your child in thinking of the solution.

9. Be compassionate:

Readily show compassion towards your child. Let your child know that you understand his or her feelings.
Be empathetic enough to consider what your approach to the situation could result in.
Be proactive!

Conclusion

Your child can not open up to you if you don’t have a good connection.
You must intentionally build a great connection with your child through effective communication.
Note that communication doesn’t necessarily have to be words, there are also body or sign communication. Being an effective communicator means that you’re able to understand what sign language your child is expressing per time. And this can only be possible where connection or bond is great.

ALSO, READ Set Limits and Be Consistent With Your Discipline

Originally posted 2021-01-06 10:48:18.

Princess Ozioma Chukwuemeka is a certified parent and teen coach. The founder of the Effective Parent Community, a platform where parents and intending parents get the right knowledge and equipped with the right skills for parenting the 21st century children. She's also the convener of the movement THE PURPOSEFUL TEEN, a movement birthed out of passion to help preteens and teens discover their life and live purposefully . She has taught over a thousand parents both online and offline on effective parenting approach. She has taught a large number of youths and teenagers on sex and relationships. She's also the founder of Women of Grace Int'l, a women only platform with over 8,000 members, which is aimed at empowering women in order to become the best version of themselves and adding value to their homes and the society at large. She is the author of Sex Education Made Easy, Effective Parenting 101 and some children novels used in primary schools. She has been featured in magazine and her works published in blogs. Princess Ozioma Chukwuemeka is married and blessed with kids.

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