What is “real” communication”? So many experts have so many wonderful ideas about this. Primarily, it is my belief, that “real” communication takes place first in the energy that you walk into a conversation with. The moment another person is held in your gaze and they are giving you their attention, the frst thing that they are going to unconsciously scope out is what you “feel” like to them. This is instinct, we are hard-wred to do this as a survival mechanism.

Notice I wrote, “they are giving you their attention” please note that this attention is a gift even if it is from your child. We are not entitled to this attention, regardless of what we may think, we are granted this attention. The moment we respect that another person is agreeing to listen to us, is the moment that we realize the gift that it is.

Your child is hard- wired to pick up all of the signals that you are sending out. When you are consciously aware of your intention and your energy and you can shift it to a place that is neutral and non-threatening, from your chlld’s perspective, your child will automatically become much more receptive to the spoken words.

Your unique child also has a specific or preferred way of receiving, integrating and acknowledging the love that he sees and feels from you through the ways in which you communicate with him.

As we nurture our children, it becomes so obvious that the closest connections we have with them are in moments of bonding, joy, mutual trust, playfulness and in a space of love. As we tap into the unique nature of our children we begin to notice how our children respond to this connection of love that is between us.

What does your child respond to best?

Physical touch
Words that affirm and encourage
The quality of time you spend together
Special gifts that you give
Special things that you do

Many would say that all are important, and I would agree, but when you observe closely you may notice that your child may respond particularly well to one or two of these methods of connection. When you respect in what way your child responds to love, best of all, and you communicate this, you are creating deeper bonds of trust and relationship with your child in a way that he can integrate more fully.

This gives your child the unspoken assurance that you really “get him”, that you understand him deeply. Through this deeply cultivated bond of love and trust, your ability to communicate with each other effectively and authentically will strenghten.

Tips to reach out to your child as you speak his language of love:

Physical Touch:
Lots of hugs, play tickle monster, massage feet or hands before sleep, cuddle in soft blanket.

The Spoken Word:
Text a loving or funny message to your teen, put post it notes of encouragement in lunch box, share reasons often of why you are happy to be her mom or dad, draw a picture and write on it, “I appreciate you because….”

Quality Time:
Make lots of eye contact, find silly things to laugh about, turn a simple car ride into a thinking game or a singing game, plant a garden together, make a photo album together, plan a date

Special Gifts:
Make a small package for your child out of things that are near and dear to him or her, give snacks on a special plate, make up a special song, type it out, print it out, put a ribbon around it and offer as a gift, give a little tree as a gift for your child to plant and grow it together, decorate a shoebox for all of her secret stuff

Thing’s That You Do:
Help your child practice a sport that she loves, make a special meal, when there is a sleepover help make it special with popcorn and movie in bed, get interested in something that your chlld loves and create an opportunity where you can explore it together

These simple things that really speak to your child’s specific needs, will open up doors and keep them open in the future. With each act of love there can be authentic dialogue about what you both appreciate and are grateful for. These are all opportunities to cultivate the energy that allows your child to be most receptive to.

So when you do have a concern that you want to bring up to discuss, you can do so in a quiet and safe space that is not going to put your child on the defensive. If you feel that your child stiffens and becomes defensive, you can ease off and ask your child to come to you when he is ready to talk about a situation.

Melinda Asztalos is a parent coach, speaker, author and the founder of Life Positive by Design. She assists parents through a conscious parenting process that enables them to achieve and sustain, positive solutions to their specific parenting challenges. For more information, Please visit: http://lifepositivebydesign.com
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