How to Communicate with Your Child and Avoid Conflict

Communication is essential for positive relationships. It’s also important when raising kids, but it’s often challenging because of the difference in experience and maturity between the parent and child.

Of course, some parents and children talk easily when the topic is light, and both parties are well-rested. But when it comes to difficult conversations, like confronting a child about poor school performance, it often gets heated and ends with either crying or a scream fest.

We, as parents, have dreams for our kids, and we often hold them responsible for not filling our expectations. And when the parents and children are stressed, we tend to yell and say things we don’t mean. To avoid unnecessary conflict, we’d like to share with you a few tricks that some parents use during a tricky conversation with their kids.

Be Patient and Understanding.

Be aware that these are kids and not paid employees. Most conflicts occur when parents expect the child to have the same understanding and maturity as them. Be patient with the child and know that they do not have the same life experience and emotional maturity as you.

Be Aware of Your Tone and Body Language.

Keep your tone kind and your body language and facial expression gentle. You may be frustrated at something, but that does not mean you should attack. Make sure you set the stage for the conversation as safe and calm as possible.

Be Mindful of What You Say.

Don’t blow your top and say mean things. You may be frustrated and want to hurt them back, there may be hurtful words you want to say, but the point should be to reach an agreement, brainstorm solutions and strengthen personal relationships.

Use “I” Statements Instead of Accusatory “You” Statements.

Let them know how you feel. Tell the child that you are frustrated about events and results but never say it was them. Don’t pin your expectations on children. Avoid sarcasm or putdowns and focus your words on how you feel. 

Ask Questions Instead of Making Demands or Giving Orders.

Ask them what happened and why they think it happened. Asking the child their point of view would open many emotions, so be prepared to take deep breaths.

Take a Break when Things Get Heated.

When you feel your emotions are high or you notice that their emotions are starting to get the better of them, call for a time out. Ask for a breather to both collect yourselves and organize thoughts.

Keep It Short, Simple, and Specific.

Keep the conversation within the issue. Do not dig deeper and pick at old wounds. Focus on what is at hand and have constructive conversations.

Listen to Your Child’s Point of View.

Give your child time and attention to tell you about their feelings on the issue and what they think of it. Most of the time, the child already thinks that it is their fault and is punishing themselves in their little way.

Listen to The Other Person’s Point of View Before Responding.

Don’t listen to respond but listen. Sometimes, the child would already understand how you feel and feel guilty that they made you feel that way. Listen to them and find out what you can do to make things better together.

Don’t Interrupt when The Child Is Talking.

Listen to everything they have to say and process it as a whole. Again, these are children that do not have the same experience and maturity as you; they may realize something on their own and say what you were thinking at the end of their statement.

Talk About Feelings, Too, and Not Just About Solutions.

You may find constructive conversations efficient by focusing on solutions rather than dwelling on the problems, but we are talking to kids and not our business partners or co-workers. You may not be an expert, and you are not expected to do anything about their strong feelings, but listening to what they feel can lead you to understand them better. 

Wrapping up

After each conversation, make sure that you are on the same page, and there are no negative feelings between you and start to move forward together.

Be Clear About Your Expectations.

Make sure both parties understand what is expected of them. This should go both ways, not just the parents’ expectations of the children but also what the child asks of the parents.

Use Positive Reinforcement to Reward Good Behavior.

After reaching an understanding, tell them that you appreciate the talk and you will work hard to make them happy. Let them know that no good deed shall be left unrecognized and that if they do better, they will have some form of reward.

Make Sure to Let Them Feel that They Are Loved.

At the end of the day, we love our kids, and we wish all the best for them. Make sure that they know that you love them. Tell them that you love them and show them that you love them every chance you get.




I'm a Mom of two daughters, Freya and Ava. I love to share insights on how parents can be better parents. I write about topics that are relevant to me as a parent: things like parenting style, relationship, marriage, and balancing work and family.

Boss Parenting
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