Have a heart-to-heart with your child
Heart-to-heart bonding with your child is one of life’s great joys. To help you really connect with your child, here are NAPCAN’s top ten tips on how to build a stronger relationship.
1. Really pay attention to what your child is saying rather than doing or thinking about something else.
2. Show you are listening by nodding, smiling or mirroring the feelings in your child’s story. Say things like, “Yes I see’ or “He didn’t!”
3. Ask questions such as “What happened then” or “What did you think about that?” This helps children to develop their own ideas and show that you are interested.
4. Ask about the biggest thing that happened in your child’s day.
5. Remember what has been going on for your child so you can ask the best questions. Ask about their friends.
6. Children chat more freely whey they are doing something with you. This could be going shopping together, walking the dog, doing a puzzle or sitting at a table and sharing a meal.
7. Ask their opinion about things. Ask how they would solve problems and respect their answers.
8. If you are reading a book with your child, discuss it with them. Pause at the end of each page for them to comment.
9. Bedtime is a great time to talk as your child knows you are a captive audience.
10. Remember that children live much more in the minute than adults. If they don’t want to talk about what happened at school, it is probably because it is not important anymore.
Making a point to connect with your child is one of the most important things you can do. It shows your child you really care and respect that they are worth listening to. NAPCAN produces brochures which provide additional tips on how to better communicate with your child. You can order these on-line by going to: http://www.resources.napcan.org.au/