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Teaching Children to Communicate
It’s not uncommon for parents to get little or no response to their questions about how was your day or how are you doing? Kids often don’t communicate well. It’s important then for parents to have as many communication tools as possible.

One of the tools in the Parenting is Heart Work book is to use the five levels of communication to draw your child deeper. The first level is greeting and involves saying hi to kids when you see them. Good morning and Good night are important. Go out of your way to be sure you’re greeting your child every chance you get. Although greeting isn’t a deep form of communication it provides the basis for going deeper. It’s an important connecting point that says ‘I’m glad you’re here.”

A second level of communication has to do with facts and information. Instead of asking your child an open-ended question, you might be more specific by asking something like, “Who sits next to you in math class?” or “How does it work for you to get between classes in such a short period of time?” “Have you ever forgotten your locker combination?” Exchanging information is an important part of communicating and parents often can get more answers by asking specific questions. “How was your day?” may be too broad for your child. “What did you do in gym today?” is more definable and answerable.

The next three levels of communication enter the heart, but you often have to do the first two well in order to move deeper.

A third level of communication involves opinions and judgments. “Do you think your coach made a good call by pulling the pitcher when he did?” “What do you think about that book you’re reading?” “Do you like Sharon’s new haircut?” Opinions and judgments reveal values and beliefs that children have and provide opportunities for you to learn more about what’s important to your child.

A fourth level of communication involves feelings and emotions. You can often glean helpful insights into this significant area of a child’s heart by asking questions or making observations such as “How did you feel during the assembly?” or “You look happy today, tell me about it” Certainly when your child is expressing some kind of emotion, you’ll want to dialogue on that level. Some parents feel uncomfortable with emotions and quickly move to problem solving which is level 2 communication, fact and information. Good communication connects on a heart level and requires more comfort talking about emotions.

The deepest level of communication is a spiritual connectedness and happens when you share spiritually together. Praying together, sharing what God is doing in your life, and serving God together are all examples of spiritual closeness. Something happens between two people who communicate spiritually. They develop a heart-based connectedness. One of the ways you can develop this spiritual closeness in your family is to use Family Time Activities once a week. Having a Family Time is important for any family and these resources are an excellent way to help you get started.

The Training Manual and CD entitled, How to Start Connecting with the Heart will give you other specific strategies for connecting with your child on a heart level. This is lesson #8 in the kit entitled, Heart Work Training Manuals and Audio Sessions. All eight lessons will give you keys to working with your child’s heart.

Parenting is Heart Work
Say Goodbye to Whining Audio Sessions
Parenting is Heart Work Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual and 8 Audio Sessions
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