Parent-child communication involves the sharing of information ideas, messages, family values, visions, and plans between parents and children by words (verbal) and other (non-verbal)means, in the course of their daily interactions with each other.

The concept of parent-child communication is not very popular in our society. Many parents wonder what to discuss and how to initiate conversations with their children.

But parent-child communication is not a difficult thing and it is not anything. Parent-child communication starts when a child is in the womb. Some mothers have startling discoveries about communicating with their unborn babies, at least by the responses of the fetus when they speak to it. The intimate communication between the mother and the baby is also a beautiful experience to watch.

He cannot understand a word, but he recognizes her voice, hears the acceptance in her tone, and thrives under her instructions and assurances of love. A mother can interpret baby noises or the jumbled phrases of the toddler. She knows his every cry and responds appropriately. This beautiful and intimate communication, however, seems to flatten out gradually as the child grows and sometimes comes to an abrupt end, sometimes, during the teenage years.

This should not be. Developing and practicing effective parent-child communication is essential to the well-being of the family life and should be maintained by all means. Let mothers share how their unborn babies communicate with them and their responses.

What Is the Importance of Parent-Child Communication?

Parent-child communication is important because the family is the foremost agent of socialization. Families provide the context and environment in which children grow and learn. It has been said that the mind of a child is blank. A child has no language, no culture, no religion, and so on. Parents are the first teachers of the child and whatever they communicate to the child is what will form the foundation of the child’s life.Communication be positive or negative depending on what the significant influences around the child communicate to the child

This is why it is good to communicate good virtues to the child and discourage bad habits in their early stage. However, this should continue even when our children become adolescents and young adults.

Where good or positive parent-child communication exists, it leads to openness, understanding, friendship, and healthy relationships. It fosters confidence and respect between parents and children. It engenders easy resolution of conflicts in the home. It creates room for guidance and home training. It helps the holistic development of children. It helps prepare children for life and their own homes. It saves our marriages and homes from avoidable heartaches that come from the poor training of children. Generally, there will be peace, harmony, and joy in a home where parents and children interact and communicate freely and openly. Discuss why some children are shy in communicating with their parent(s)and how they can be encouraged to open up to their parents.

Causes of Communication Breakdown between Parents and Their Children

The Bible gives us many reasons for ineffective parent-child communication that are noticeable in homes.

  • Favoritism or preferential treatment of children, as we see in the home of Isaac and Rebekah and the home of Jacob(Genesis 25:28:37:3).
  • Indifference and lack of discipline or untimely/inappropriate discipline of children, as we see in the home of Eli(1 Samuel 3:13).
  • Being busy with too many schedules, activities, and events at the expense of the home as in the case of Samuel(1 Samuel 7:15-8:3).
  • Negligence of parental duties and misplaced priority (1Kings20:39-40)
  • Injustice and greed(1Chronicles 26:10).
  • Negative cultural practices like polygamy.
  • Black of touch with God/Spiritual insensitivity

Read the following Bible passages and discuss e(IKings 1:6; Ephesians 6:4;1 Corinthians 15:33).  But the reasons for breakdown of parent-child communication

Maintaining effective Parent-Child Communication

Practicing and maintaining effective parent-child communication in a joint venture requires commitment from both parents and children, but most of the job lies with the parents. The following are some helpful suggestions:

  • Parents should demonstrate unconditional love for all their children and avoid favoritism.
  • Parents should be available and approachable to their children at all times.
  • As a parent, when you have a problem, do not hide it from your children. When your child has a problem, hear him or her out.
  • Parents and children should be open to learning from one another.
  • Every family member should be humble enough to confess/apologize for their wrongs and mistakes and those offended should be willing to forgive freely.
  • Every member of the family should make deliberate efforts to use edifying words and expressions in communicating with others to avoid bad and derogatory expressions.
  • For infants(children who are not speaking) parents should begin to communicate with them very early using gestures such as pointing, showing, touching, and so on. Talk to them whether they respond immediately or not.
  • People of all ages love stories, whether real or made up. Tell stories that teach morals. This is a good way to start conversations with children.
  • Music is also an important way of communicating with children and young people. Parents can start discussions around a song the children like and have just listened to.
  • Children also communicate well when they play games and do different activities. Having some games like ludo, snake and ladder, scrabble, chess, computer games, and so on at home and playing it with our children can be a great opportunity for parent-child communication.
  • Take the family out occasionally to unwind and relax while discussing issues of interest to everyone or issues of concern to some members of the family.
  • De periodic family evaluation, interaction forum, or family meeting.
  • Parents should be firm on godly principles and show by their example that it is possible to live by these principles.
  • Be tactful in handling difficult situations.

What kind of communication style do you think we need to handle difficult children?

Conclusion

The responsibility of raising our children to be godly and responsible is an enormous task. It requires that parents and children are constantly on the same page. One of the ways Satan tries to take our children away is to block and break communication between parents and children. We must do all in our capacity to ensure that the flow of communication between us and our children remains open and effective. Every member of the family should work hard to practice and maintain the principles for effective parent-child communication that have been outlined above.

A successful Christian home is a place where the father, mother, and children all live by biblical principles of healthy communication; and a place where each member daily seeks to be more like the Master in the way they communicate and relate with others. Disciples should appreciate the value of open and effective communication to the health of the Christian home. They should embrace the practice of good communication and reject all forms of bad communication in the home.

Prayers

  • Ask the Lord to grant parents and children grace to communicate well for the progress of the family.
  • Teach our children to know how to communicate very well to understand the principle of respect and honor in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Oh God, make the agent of good communication in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Almighty God, let my children show morals and value through their communication in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • My children will not die through dirty and foul communication in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • My children will fulfill his/her purposes on this earth through good communication in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Thank God for all that you have done for all my children from now on in the name of Jesus Christ.

Pest-Group Activity: Mention three things parents will begin to do to improve communication between them and their children.