How We Communicate is Critical in Relationships
Words can be forgiven, but they are never forgotten. Tone is equally important. Not speaking or saying loving supportive words is also damaging and neglectful. To effectively communicate with others we must also be good listeners.
Young and Prospective Parents:
Parenting does not come with a manual. For the most part, babies are trial and error. Communication starts from the get go, even though it is unspoken. When babies cry you check their diaper, see if they are hungry or need to be burped, and give them love and affection. The problem is when we cannot get them to stop crying, frustration sets in and often this leads to life long resentment. Allowing a baby to cry temporarily in a safe place is not bad once all other options are exhauseted. Sometimes they need to cry themselves back to sleep.
As a child grows they begin to test their boundaries, perhaps throwing tantrums or talking back. As the parent it is very important that you remain calm and in control. Choose your form of discipline. For me personally, I put my kids on the stairs and told them why they were in “time out. ” I also let them know that it was up to them how long they would stay there. When they were ready to turn their mood around and act nicely, they could rejoin the room. This put them back in control and taught them responsibility. It worked well for us, but you will find what works best for you.
Pre teen and teen years can be challenging. Try to allow time and space that is unstructured where your children feel comfortable opening up and talking with you. For me, my kids shared their day when I picked them up from school and as I made dinner. We also did things as a family on weekends that we tried to make fun for everyone like trips to the zoo and brunch together. They need encouragement and to know that you support them. School is hard and these are tough years. Even if they rebel, love them anyway.
Talk to your children with respect. So often, parents talk down to their children. Children of all ages rise to the occassion when they are treated well, respected and taught responsibility.
To Parents with Full Grown Children and Adult Children
If you did not have a close relationship with your child/parent growing up, it is never too late to mend the pieces. Practice forgiveness and allow healing to occur. Often when the relationship is not good in childhood, trauma results later in life. One day our parents will be gone and we do not want to be left with regrets. Grudges only hurt us. Let go. Accept what is, forgive and move forward in any positive way that you possibly can.
Whether you are newly dating, communicating in the workplace or in any other situation, there are several points that will always lead you in a successful direction to achieve positive results. Only speak when you have something positive to say, just like my mom taught me, "if you do not have.anything nice to say, do not say anything at all." Sometimes when you are frustrated it is better to take a walk before talking so that you respond more in control than lashing out. Life is not perfect all the time, but how we choose to communicate can make or break a deal. The last thing we want to do is dim our partner's spirit or soul. Finally, watch your body language when you speak. Closed fists and crossed arms give a negative vibe. Relaxed shoulders and open arms give much more open feeling to conversations.
Five Tips for Becoming a Great Communicator
- Be a good listener. You do not always need to “fix” someone, but instead just let them know you are there.
- Respect... Always respect the other person, even when you disagree.
- Honesty... It is ALWAYS better to tell the truth, because the truth will set you free.
- Give sincere compliments when possible. Strong healthy people lift others up.
- Be loyal... Show up, be present and be a part of the lives of those you care about making time for what is important to them.
Whomever you are comminicating with try to listen, speak clearly, concisely and with purpose. Practice awareness of both what is being said, as well as tone and body language. The goal is compassionate communication. When we accomplish this we are able to acheive positive results.
Say what you mean and mean what you say,
P.S. - If you have children, please try to let go of what you did or did not accomplish in your personal life and encourage your children to explore who they really are. We are all born with a purpose and we deserve the chance to become the best version of ourselves.
Awaken • Inspire • Empower