Another Parenting Tip from The National Center for Biblical Parenting…Communication is at the center of all relationships and is the key to closeness and feeling connected. Emotional connectedness can come in many ways but understanding communication helps us protect closeness in family life. In fact, five levels of communication provide opportunities for increased closeness. Each level serves an important role for growing deeper. If tension and stress dominate your relationship with your child, start working through these communication levels and you’ll begin to see significant change take place.
1. Greetings are the oil that keep relationships cordial. Hugging your children as part of a greeting or welcoming them to breakfast in the morning makes an important statement about the value of your relationship.
2. Exchanging information about our lives helps people know what’s going on and contributes to a sense of connectedness. As you go through your day, think of a couple of interesting things you could share with your child.
3. Sharing opinions and judgments is the next level. Some people are hesitant to share their opinions because they feel like they’ll have to back them up or face an argument. Look for ways to affirm your children. “That makes sense” can be an encouraging statement even if you disagree. “Thank you for sharing your opinion with me,” can be a statement that encourages openness.
4. Communicating emotions takes us another level deeper. Facts and opinions often have emotions hidden behind them. “I bet that hurt” or “I can tell you’re excited about that,” acknowledges feelings your child might be experiencing.
5. Sharing spiritually brings an amazing amount of closeness into a relationship. Praying together, sharing what God is teaching you, enjoying worship together, and having a sense of spiritual fellowship are all ways to enjoy the deepest level of communication. As you strengthen your spiritual lives together, you’ll see more and more opportunities to discuss heart issues.
All five levels of communication are important. Don't think you can skip the first few and still experience closeness. Look for opportunities to enjoy all the levels with your kids.
This parenting tip comes from the book Parenting is Heart Work by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.