Communication is the foundation of any well-functioning relationship. How do we communicate with our kids, our partners, or our co-workers? Have we considered what our body language says to the people around us? What does how we communicate say about us? Are we familiar with the different styles of Communication? How can we develop more productive and fluid ways of communication to create better outcomes in our relationships? How do we model communication to our children…?
When we communicate with our children, or our partners, are we Defensive or Open for Change? Do we make effort to acknowledge what others are trying to say, and do we try to understand, and/or seek clarity, or do we withdraw, blame others, or make excuses…? Often our style of communication is subconscious and derived from our own parents’ behaviors towards us, which becomes a kind of default way of expressing ourselves. Until we self-reflect on how WE communicate, it may be difficult to create more Win/Win outcomes in all our respective relationships. Have we ever noticed our children communicating in a similar way as we do and found it surprising, or even offensive..? Children will generally mirror their parent’s style of communication, and so it’s imperative that we understand our ways of communicating and bring awareness to what it is we wish to express. With awareness and self-reflection we can begin to adapt our style of communication to better serve our emotional needs and that of our children.
When we communicate with our kids, do we make eye contact, do we ask questions nicely, and do we value their opinions? Do we focus on positivity, what we can learn, and avoid labeling our children? We can teach our kids how to create a more fulfilling experience in our relationships by modeling for them simple and effective ways to communicate, while showing them the respect we wish to receive and validating their needs and emotions along the way. Our Active Parenting courses at Parent Aid are a great way to learn and develop communication skills that will help us become a better parent and person in our community. You can access this course and everything else we have to offer at our Parenting Class Calendar. Most of our courses are free and we encourage both parents to enroll together.