How Dads can Improve their Communication with their Kids
Don’t ask dead end questions. These are questions that can be answered by yes or no. Ask questions that would lead to interactions and not silence. I think this also applies to dating ( for single men reading this).
Be genuinely interested. Get into the conversation. Do the follow ups. Clarify how they feel. Repeat what they say without actually repeating verbatim what they say. Examples would be:
Son: Dad, I feel such a loser today.
Dad: Are you saying that you are discouraged? Why do you feel this way?
Son: Dad, I made a fool of myself in front of the class.
Dad: Well, what happened?
Share what is on your mind. Most of our conversations are times where we can share how we think and feel. But remember to emphatize with your kid especially if he is discouraged.
Dad: Well son, I also one time in my life felt like a loser. ( Then share your story and emphatize)
Know when to stop. Be sensitive. Know when to stop. You will get this as you practice listening to your kids.
Emphatize. Put yourself in his or her shoes. As a parent, try to mirror your children’s feelings by repeating them. Reflect his feelings,
Dad: Well, it seems like what your classmates did to you was really rude.
Restating or rephrasing what children have said is useful when they are experiencing powerful emotions that they may not be fully aware of.
Clarify his experiences by stating your child’s feeling in your own words. Your wider vocabulary can help children express themselves as accurately and clearly as possible and give them a deeper understanding of words and inner thoughts. My wife is very good at this. Thammie would always rephrase and clarify how my daughters are feeling.
Thammie: So you mean to say that you were mad? Am I right?
Daughter: Yes mommy.
Thammie: And why were you mad? Did you expect your sister to help clean up the mess she made with you?
Daughter: Yes because she was the one responsible for the mess and I am the one cleaning it all the time.
Thammie: So the reason you were shouting was because your sister was not helping you?