As a parent educator I meet many families each year. Most of them are just like yours and mine. Functional in some areas, dysfunctional in others and almost all of them wanting to do better and build closer relationships with family members.
Fathers frequently tell me they have difficulty connecting with their children, especially if there has been a divorce, incarceration or separation of some kind. Both father and child hunger for a close relationship but get bogged down in arguing, criticism or surface words.
What to Talk To Your Kids About
Most of us have little trouble finding something to talk about at work, or in our civic roles on softball teams or with golfing buddies, That is because we are doing activities that require communication. Also, one of the suggestions I give fathers who want to talk to their kids is, don't look them right in the eye all the time.
When you are working together on a project, it takes the heat of the participants and the focus is on the "thing". It makes communication much easier because it doesn't have to be personal, but instead invites communication.
Don't Force Communication
For father - child communication to be effective, don't try to force or manage the conversation. Rather do and share things together that can lead to open discussion, asking questions (without accusing) to express feelings (maybe even apologize) and to hopefully listen to what your kid has to say.
The more you talk to your kid, the more you will enjoy them as incredible individuals. As a father you have much to share and teach them. But they also have a great deal to share and teach you.
Rather than what to talk to your kids about, I prefer to think of it as what to talk with your kids about. ---------------------
Good luck in your quest to have a strong relationship with your children.
Artichoke Press is the home site of Judy H. Wright, family relationship coach and author of over 20 books and many articles on family relationships. If your organization would like to schedule Auntie Artichoke, the storytelling trainer, for a workshop please call 406.549.9813.
You are also invited to visit our blog at http://www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships.
Submitted by: Judy H. Wright *
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