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Free Essay on Parents

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It is not always easy to get our point across to a child. It seems that children do not understand, or just don’t listen. Likewise, it is not unusual for our children to get frustrated because they feel that we don’t understand what they are trying to tell us. Sometimes children lack the words or skills needed to express themselves effectively. As well, when they are older sometimes they lack the maturity needed to reason or respect the generational differences and therefore, their point may not be well received.

As parents we understand that communication is the basic means of teaching and guiding and that all behavior is communication. Without effective parent/child communication, children can not learn. It takes more than a little effort and patient. It takes skill. There are many different reasons for communicating and they may require different strategies or styles, depending on the particular goal at the time. The influences of that communication process could vary from birth to bond. Three of the most apparent are 1) the relationship building process 2) the absent parent and 3) Adolescence or Puberty.

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As we begin building the relationship, children learn how to communicate by watching their parents. While our children are very young, parents should begin setting the stage for open, effective communication. If parents communicate openly and effectively, chances are that their children will, too. Children then begin to feel that they are heard and understood, which will boost their self esteem. On the other hand, ineffective communication between parent and child can lead them to believe that they are unimportant, unheard or misunderstood. This may cause them to view their parents as unhelpful or untrustworthy. When children feel secure in their position in the family, they are more likely to be cooperative. Our perception of others directly influences how we communicate with them. Parents should try to eliminate behaviors such as yelling and just ignoring the child. When parents communicate with their children, it is important for them to come down to their child’s level by using age-appropriate language that they can easily understand. And they should know what their children are able to understand. They should also make and maintain eye contact when the child is talking to them or when they are talking to the child. If children express a desire to talk at a time that the parent is unable to, that should be communicated and a time to talk should be scheduled. Both parties feel a need to be heard but should try to keep the interruptions to a minimum while the other is speaking. Interruptions often break the speaker’s train of thought, and this can be very frustrating and create a feeling of not wanting to talk with one another, even when really necessary.

How we communicate during conflict is a compelling influence. As often but unfortunate as it is, many parents do not live in the same house as their children, which brings another element to the equation. Children usually feel a lot of pain and inner conflict during and after divorce or due to the absence of a parent. Kids may feel responsible for the break-up of the relationship – even more so when they see that so much of the fighting is about them (child custody, visitation, child support). Children would love nothing better than to be loyal to both parents. Unfortunately, in many adversarial separations, they feel a lot of pressure to side with one parent or another. Parents and children are deeply affected by divorce and the struggles that surround it. Depending on the nature of the separation, the child can be forced to see parents through the eyes of the parents. If the child is fed negative information regarding the parent who does not reside with them, he or she will often communicate with them accordingly. If the absent parent is always absent it builds bitterness or anger in the child and when there is communication, it is strongly influenced by the feeling of neglect or abandonment.

Sometimes the divorced or single parent and the child are subject to changes, such as a move to another community, a different school and a reduced income. Their desire or ability to adjust to those changes will be reflected as well. When a child is subjected to open parental conflict, name calling and other forms of disrespect, they will often began to demonstrate the same. It appears to them that this is acceptable and appropriate behavior. Visitation poses yet another issue, discipline. Children are sometimes used as pawns and if disciplined when visiting with the absent parent, this can become an excuse for conflict. When the child learns that any disciplinary action is unacceptable to the “opposing” parent, they often began to disregard the rules given by the absent parent.

The initial responsibility lies solely in the hands of the parents, considering they will give the guidance, verbally and nonverbally. That foundation will be challenged by the parent and child’s developmental stages as well as life’s variables. As parents, we must teach our children by example to meet and overcome these obstacles in an attempt to keep the parent/child communication in progress and the bond in tact, which sometimes can be a tedious but valuable task.

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