In my profession, I pride myself on open communication. I stress to parents on a regular basis that my office is always open and I encourage them to come to me with concerns, praises or questions. I want them to know that what they have to say is heard and they are respected. Likewise, I demonstrate open communication in relaying information. I want them to know their time is valued, their children are a top priority and their input is important.
Should I not encourage and expect the same in my own home? I want my children to feel welcome and safe in coming to me about anything. Nothing is off limits in open communication and although there are some hard topics that may find their way into the conversation, I want my children to know I will listen respectfully and respond accordingly.
Even at the youngest of ages, it is imperative that we practice open communication with our children. They deserve the respect of knowing what is going on (age appropriately) and the comfort of being able to speak their mind and ask their questions.
Maintaining open communication encourages a bond by reinforcing trust and respect, two vital components of any relationships. This doesn’t have to look super professional, but rather super relational.
Open communication is simply the desire to speak freely and be heard in the context of a loving, supportive relationship. We expect this in the other relationships of our life so why not embrace it with our children as well?