How To Talk with Your Kids

How To Talk with Your Kids With the new school year upon us, the Camden County Division for Children reminds parents to begin talking with their children on a daily basis to stem possible problems at school.

“It can be very difficult for parents to get their children to open up and talk about what they’re experiencing in school, particularly when they’re having a problem, whether its academic, social or emotional,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health & Human Services-Division for Children.

By knowing how to engage a child in conversation and by carrying out that conversation in a spirit of acceptance and understanding, parents oftentimes can get to the bottom of what’s bothering their child and take the necessary steps to correct it, Rodriguez said.

“Research shows that productive communication can occur when children know they can count on their parents to listen without being critical or impatient,” Rodriguez said.

The Camden County Division for Children offers parents these tips to encourage communication with their school-age children:

* Acknowledge and talk to your children about the mixed emotions or nervousness they might be feeling about the new school year. Remind them of their positive experiences in the past – the friends they’ve made, the things they’ve learned, the fun they’ve had – and how the new school year is an opportunity for more of the same. Help them be aware of their past successes.

* Focus on your children at the end of every day, giving them a regular time period for your undivided attention. Ask questions and actively listen to how their day went and what the highlights and negatives were. Be calm, attentive and supportive; don’t criticize.

* In order to get a meaningful response from your children, ask questions that require more than a one-word answer. For example, instead of asking “How was school today?” try something like “What was the best (and worst) part of your day?” or “What was the most interesting (and difficult) thing you learned today?” Pay close attention to their words along with their feelings to get the complete message.

Using these tactics almost always insures a productive dialog, Rodriguez said, enabling parents to quickly identify and address problems before they become worse.

For more information on how to talk with your child about school, call the Camden County Department of Health & Human Services-Division for Children at (856)374-6378.

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Author: Press Release-Camden County

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