Does it feel like your parents just don’t understand you sometimes? Or is it really hard to talk to them about something that’s important to you? Developing positive communication skills with your parents is an important way to build a healthy relationship. Here are a few tips for making that happen.
Feature image Krissa Corbett Cavouras
Engage in Small Talk
By talking to your parents regularly, even about small things, this will help make it easier to approach a bigger topic. Try asking them about their day, telling them about yours, sharing a funny story or asking for their advice on little things.
Manage Your Body Language
A big part of communication actually happens without words. Show your parents you care about the conversation you’re having by uncrossing your arms, looking them in the eye and putting away your cell phone. While it can be tempting to multitask, it actually shows your parents a lot of maturity when you take the time to pay attention.
Know Your Audience
Your parents are different, and your relationship with each of them is unique. That’s ok! If there are things you’d feel more comfortable talking about with you mom, do so with her. If there are situations that your dad will understand better, it’s ok to talk to him about it first. It’s better to start a conversation in a way that makes you feel comfortable than not to have it at all.
Learn to Listen
While it might sometimes feel like your parents are out of touch with who you are and don’t fully understand your circumstances, they actually have a lot of insight and wisdom to offer, as well as a unique perspective you might not have considered yet. So, instead of writing off what your parents have to say, try listening fully, before sharing your thoughts. This will encourage them to listen more to you too.