Effective conversation helps parents create lasting, meaningful relationships with their kids. These 10 powerful statements can get you started on your way.
The Pew Research Center recently showed parents across America a list of 10 skills, asking the question: “Which of these skills is most important for a child to get ahead in the world today?” The winner, by far, was communication. In fact, not only was it chosen as the most important; it beat out traditional favorites, such as reading, writing, teamwork and logic.
Perhaps this is not surprising given our over-connected, always-on world. Yet parents often don’t realize how large of a role they actually play in developing and nurturing this skill. In my book, “Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids: Creating the Relationship You Want with the Most Important People in Your Life,” I stress that effective conversation—what you say, how you say it, when you say it—is one of the only tools parents have in creating lasting and meaningful relationships with their kids.
As the father of two adult children and a grandfather to 13 in my blended family, I know that parents must be conscious of what they say and how they say it. Negative comments can often shape a conversation in a way we don’t realize and it’s important to be aware. Your words and conversations create your reality, your future and your relationships. What you talk about—or don’t talk about—defines your relationship. The primary conversations that surround your children are your conversations—both with them directly and with others while your children are present. And those are the conversations you have the power to change.