Listen to your children.
According to the American Psychological Association, listening to your child is key to a healthy relationship between the two of you. When you listen to your child, you become their confidante, and no matter how old they are, they will always come to you for life advice and emotional support.
Make one-on-one time for your child, and if you have more than one child, make one-on-one time for each of them. Pick a time when you know that child is most willing to talk, e.g., bedtime, the car ride to school, a weekend morning, etc. Be sure to pick topics that your child is interested in.
Let them know you’re listening.
Make eye contact with them and listen without interrupting. Show them you understand what they are saying by putting a name to what they are feeling (for example, you might say, “It sounds like you’re really enjoying this”). Clarify with them what they want you to do—do they want your advice, or do they just want you to listen while they vent?
Respond in a way they will hear.
Keep your emotions and reactions neutral. Remember, it is not about who’s right and who’s wrong; it is about connecting with your child. Say what you feel, but stay respectful of what they feel too.
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