Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Importance of Good Communication in the Family

O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.  Psalms 71:17-18
How wonderful are the stories from a parent or grandparent of God’s sustaining and unfailing grace, mercy?  However, we sometimes forget that the children have stories to tell us as well.  It may be if we are more interested in listening to them, they will be more interested in listening to us!  We continue our emphasis today on helpful skills to be better communicator. 
Basic Tools for Effective Communication (Part 2)
Choose your responses thoughtfully.  "I am very concerned about..." or "I understand that it is sometimes difficult..." are better ways to respond to your child than beginning sentences with "You should..." or "If I were you..." or "When I was your age..." Speaking for oneself is less likely to be considered a lecture or an automatic response.
If your child tells you something you don't want to hear, don't ignore the statement. Children often hint at more than they say. Be alert for casual comments that may indicate a deeper problem. Some examples of comments that should be pursued are: "My friend's dad sure acts strange" or "Karen has really gotten wild" or "Sometimes I think life isn't worth living." The comments may mean nothing, or they may be your child's attempt to call attention to a problem without breaking a confidence or appearing to ask for help.
Make sure you understand what your child means.  Repeat things to your child for confirmation.  Ask for an explanation if you aren't sure you understand what your child means.
Be available to discuss even sensitive subjects. Young people need to know that they can rely on their parents for accurate information about subjects that are important to them. If your child wants to discuss something important at a time when you can't give it full attention, explain why you can't talk, set a time to talk later, and then carry through on it! 
Give lots of praise. Emphasize the things your youngster is doing right instead of always focusing on things that are wrong. When parents are quicker to praise than to criticize, children learn to feel good about themselves; they develop the self-confidence to trust their own judgment. 
Model good behavior. Children learn by example as well as teaching. Make sure that your own actions reflect the standards of honesty, integrity, and fair play that you expect of your child. 
Above all, never take for granted that because you are talking someone is actually hearing what you say.  Work hard for effective communication in your home.  Remember that God takes the time to listen to us for a reason.  We can be a helper to another just by listening today.
Scripture to Claim:
Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. Psalms 30:10

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