Advise to Create Meaningful Conversations
Establishing Emotional Dialogue
The excuse for a lot of bad parenting is “Children don’t come with a handbook!” My favourite comedian’s response to this is, “No, you have to buy the handbook. It costs around £7!” Even with a handbook, being a parent is no easy task and sometimes it can be hard to establish an open and honest dialogue with your child.
How many of us talk to babies; even if it’s just coochy-coo? We’ve all done it at some point. Some parents talk and sing to their unborn baby so that they recognize their voice. Talking to your child openly and honestly, ask them how they feel about different things. Most importantly, answer their questions, so they know that they can rely on you to be honest with them.
Preparation is important!
If you’re bringing a wanted child into a loving and stable environment and you are willing to put in the effort to bring that child up to be a responsible adult, then you are on the right track already. Your child needs to know that you love him (or her) and that you will listen to what they have to say, no matter how tough your own day has been. You will need to be there if they are ill, you will need to give them a boost if they need your support, you will need to be the one they can rely on!
Keep it Simple!
Sometimes we feel happy or sad, sometimes we feel mad or we might be afraid and children are no different. Letting children give voice to their emotions gives them an opportunity to explore their feelings and recognize each emotion for what it is. Helping them talk through their emotions lets them know that it is alright and normal to feel the way they do and that you understand how they are feeling.
Listen to your child, and try not to interrupt them when they are talking. Also try not to tell a child what he or she is feeling as you could end up projecting your own feelings on them. Instead, listen carefully and ask them how they feel about what has happened, or what was said. End every chat by giving your child a hug and letting them know they are loved no matter what.
Tips on Staying Safe
As our children grow older, they start to develop new interests and gain new friends. While this is all normal, it can be rather daunting for a parent to suddenly realize that their child wants to meet up with friends in town, or go to the cinema with them. How do we, as parents, give our children the freedom and self assurance to be themselves and also ensure that they are safe?
We all had the “Stranger Danger” talk at school, but by the time your child is ready to meet friends in town that talk is rendered superfluous. This time, you have to talk to your child about what happens if they fall out with the friend they are meeting, or if they miss the bus. You will have to be sure they know the standard of behavior that is expected from them and to respect themselves enough so they don’t behave in an irresponsible manner. This might require a lot of trust on your part, but if you let your child know just how massive the trust is that you’ve given him or her, they normally rise to the challenge.
What They Should Know
Make sure you know where they are, who they will be with and what time they will be home. You might want to impose a curfew which can be extended as they grow. Decide whether or not they are old enough to be responsible for a mobile phone. They can use this to keep in touch with friends and to also contact you. You might decide to get a contract phone and cap the usage, or pay as you go. Tell your child about any reverse charge service available from public phones if they need to contact you urgently.