If there is one word that will sum up parenting, it's communication. Think about it. Our role as parents is to love our children. How do we show that love? We show it through various means of communicating. Our affection is a way of communicating without words. One of the first phrases our children learn is "I love you". We teach them nice words and mean words. As they get older, they learn the words that are the opposite of love, too. They learn that words can help make you feel better and can cause you pain.
Besides communicating love to our children, our role as parents is also to teach children how to survive in the world as adults, right? We do this through communication, too. When kids are younger, we teach good choice/bad choice. We help our children stay safe through our words and actions. A toddler may be interested in the fire on the stove, but we combine our words - "No! Hot!" - with our actions, moving their hands away from it. As they get older, we talk to them about the importance of grades, following through on promises and hard word.
There are so many words and actions we use to raise our children. Everything we do as parents involves communication.
Communication isn't just a teaching tool, it's also a way of building relationships. When we become friends with someone, it's usually over shared interests. When our children grow older, we build on the communication we started when they were younger and our relationship changes, too. Mutual respect can be formed. While you're always the parent and they're always the child, that doesn't mean there aren't shared interests or a genuine respect for the thoughts and opinions of others.
When our children grow, they will reach out to someone with questions they have. Would you rather that be you? If you haven't built the relationship that teenagers and even young adults need to feel like they can reach out to you, they'll search elsewhere for answers. It starts and ends with communication.
So what happens when there's a communication breakdown? This is where I can help. Whether you work with me live to fix any communication barriers or breakdowns and work on rebuilding what is lost through the digital course, it can be fixed.
What have I missed? Why is communication important in your family?
Karen Becker is a Family Coach who has spent years working with couples one-on-one and in groups as they transition from parenting together in a relationship to co-parenting. Her own experiences as a co-parent have helped build curriculum, communication techniques and worksheets that help clients take the negative emotion out of their relationship and put the focus on the children. She is also the author of the workbook Mindset, a speaker and a family growth coach. She has a Master's Degree in Counseling and applies these skills when coaching clients. Karen can also be found on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.