BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN:
- Notice times when your kids are most likely to talk — for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car — and be available.
- Start the conversation; it lets your kids know you care about what's happening in their lives.
- Find time each week for a one-on-one activity with each child, and avoid scheduling other activities during that time.
- Learn about your children's interests — for example, favorite music and activities — and show interest in them.
- Initiate conversations by sharing what you have been thinking about rather than beginning a conversation with a question.
LET YOUR KIDS KNOW YOU’RE LISTENING:
- When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen.
- Express interest in what they are saying without being intrusive.
- Listen to their point of view, even if it's difficult to hear.
- Let them complete their point before you respond.
- Repeat what you heard them say to ensure that you understand them correctly.