Getting your child to show emotional vulnerability can be difficult. If the home environment is not conducive for open and honest conversations, then your child will likely steer clear of such conversations. But as a parent, you may want to take note of these tips on helping your child to open up.
Allowing space for your child’s development should become a holistic endeavor. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do.
When your child has finally decided to open up to you, understand that it has taken them a lot of push-and-pull and internal debate on pushing through with the task. As they initiate serious conversations, you may not easily notice them in the beginning. You have to listen for some common conversation starters they may use. This will allow you to know when they are trying to open up to you.
A good indication that your child is trying to talk to you is if they sit beside you and begin a discussion on something that might be trivial at the start. They may ask you how your day went, or ask you what you’re doing. Though it may be the case that no serious topics will ensue, they may be gathering the courage to be open with you. So be patient and don’t push it if the conversation doesn’t go there yet.
After noticing that your child has finally mustered up the courage to bring up what’s truly on their mind, you mind find yourself overwhelmed with the plethora of new information that you’re receiving from them. You may not initially know how to react, but it’s important that you keep calm and composed.
Parents need to be strong for their children because they’re the very first people they should be able to count on for support. When they’re finally unloading their concerns with you, avoid jumping into conclusions and try preventing yourself from providing them with advice. Most of the time, all your child needs is a shoulder to lean on. Watch their body language intently because it tells a lot about whether they’re comfortable with receiving such advice.
As said before, getting your child to become more open starts with you as a parent. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s a good idea to make parent-child communication a habit.
Take the initiative to bring up sensitive issues that your child wouldn’t normally bring up on their own. Always make sure that you’re doing this at a time where both of you are completely free from any schoolwork or office work in order to communicate more effectively. Especially now as the pandemic persists, you and your child will spend most of the time at home — use this as an opportunity to find moments of simply just talking.
Finally, you should make it a point to listen attentively to anything that your child might be telling you. Even if you may be swamped with work, nothing is as important as listening to what your child has to say, even if just for a few minutes.
When children feel like they have your undivided attention, they would be more comfortable divulging everything that’s bothering them. Make sure to also take note of your body language, as even the slightest hint of annoyance from you may eventually come off as being dismissive in their eyes.
A good way to let your child know you’re listening to them is by asking thoughtful questions to show that you are trying to really understand them. This is an indication that you are willing to know where they are coming from.
There may still be a bit of stigma when it comes to displaying emotions. For someone as young as your child, this may be increasingly so, since there is an expectation that children don’t really have much to think about and have a fun and worry-free life.
As a parent, you certainly know better than the misconception above. This is why it’s important for you to know these tips on helping your child open up to help the two of you get started on the right path to open communication.