Learning to communicate both face-to-face and with technology will be important to raising thriving young people.
Remember that communication is both sending and receiving messages, where speaking (typing) and listening (reading) are equally important.
Sharing an opinion or idea and standing up for yourself will all be an important part of success and resilience. Assertive communication is something that can be taught and practiced. Encourage your child to speak their mind and stand up for themselves where appropriate. Children should be seen and heard. Finding the right way to do this will make all of the difference, though. Good manners is key to good communication.
Children need to learn to listen as much as they speak. This is an essential part of empathy and curiosity and innovation. Role model good listening by:
- Taking the time to really listen to your children and other people.
- Making a point of remembering things that people (your child) have said previously.
- Asking for a moment to think about something before answering.
- Not always seeming like you are in a rush.
- Being quiet in a conversation.
- Sometimes not knowing the answer, and asking someone else.
Communicating using technology will continue to grow as a common means of communicating. This will require new parenting choices and conversations. Parents will need to be clearer on rules for using technology. This can’t only cover concerns regarding security, like when and with who children can communicate with using technology. It will also need to cover the way children communicate using technology. Parents will need to sit down and really think about this. Remember, many people parent using their parent’s techniques as a default, especially when they don’t know what to do. Current parents had very little parental input when it comes to technology, creating a strange free for all. This is being passed down to current children by these parents, where we see less and less parental control when it comes to managing technology. Children become what they see, and if parents are unhappy about the way their children use or communicate via technology they need to look back to themselves to correct this.