Parents do have the discretion when it comes to setting family rules and traditions. They also make a lot of choices and re-centering their family at the dinner table should be one of them. Following are ways on how to positively communicate with your children and ensure that regular family meals work for your family.
- Recognize the importance of family mealtime. Get the family together and discuss the benefits of eating together and make a commitment as a family.
- Begin slowly. Start with one meal a week, then increase your family meals from there. Start small, but stick with it.
- Make a schedule. Make eating together a habit, not a special occasion.
- Be flexible. If dinner’s not workable, eat breakfast or lunch together, share a snack with your kid, or make a late-night dessert get-together.
- Divide and conquer. If there’s just no way you can all be together, remember that one parent is better than no parent.
Ways to Communicate Positively with your Children
- Start Early.
Learn how to really listen.
- Opening the parent-child communication line while children are still young creates an opportunity for better guidance and proper up-bringing.
Express your own feelings and ideas when communicating with children.
- Make and maintain eye contact – show your kids that you are involved and interested with what they are saying.
- Eliminate distractions – give your undivided attention and avoid having distractions such as newspapers, TVs and cellphones around.
- Let your children know they are heard – show signs of affirmation/acknowledgement to encourage them to open up and habitually share their thoughts and feelings.
Avoid nagging, lecturing, interrupting and criticizing children’s stories as these can result to children not wanting to converse with parents out of fear of being wronged.
- Make the communication 2-way. One way to instill values and morals in your children is by mutually sharing experiences, thoughts and opinions.