Skip to Main Content
WarrenShepell logo and header
Individuals Organizations About Us WarrenShepell Research Group Resource Centre Contact Us
ws empowernet
Employer Login
HealthQuest Articles
Balancing Act

Balancing Act Archives
August, 2006: Family Snack Smarts
July, 2006: Cooperative Co-parenting
June, 2006: Street Proofing Teens 101
May, 2006: Harmony is in season: Harmony is in season: Warm Weather Activities To Bring The Family Together
April, 2006: Caregiving: Sensible Steps To Success
March, 2006: Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World
February, 2006: Stress Busters to Stay Lighthearted
January, 2006: Brain Gain in Life's Later Years
December, 2005: Holiday Budget Planning
November, 2005: Combating Childhood Obesity
October, 2005: Eating Away at Colds and Flu
September, 2005: Avoiding the Aches of Osteoarthritis
August, 2005: Growing Older, Eating Wiser
July, 2005: Nutrition Tips for the Healthiest Summer Ever
June, 2005: Long-Term Care Facilities/Nursing Homes - How Do I Choose the Right One?
May, 2005: Nutrition and Your Baby: Introducing solid food to the menu
April, 2005: When Baby Comes Home For The First Time
March, 2005: Stepping into the Role of Stepparent
February, 2005: Pumping Fitness into Your Day
* January, 2005: Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers
* December, 2004: Time Out: Making the most of the holidays
* November, 2004: An Ounce of Prevention: Type 2 Diabetes
* October, 2004: Dealing with Peer Pressure
* September, 2004: Long Distance Caregiving
* August, 2004: The ‘Be-tween’ Transition, 2004
* July, 2004: Easing into summer vacation
* June, 2004: A family-friendly balance for working fathers
* May, 2004: Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow
* April, 2004: Tips for Making the Tax Season Less Taxing
* March, 2004: The Dieting Merry-Go-Round
* February, 2004: Keeping Your Financial Future in Check
* January, 2004: Here Comes the Flu
* December, 2003: Communicating with your Teen
* November, 2003: Eating for Energy
* October, 2003: Work-life Balance: Making it Work for You
* September, 2003: The Homework Zone
* August, 2003: Health Hints to Ease Your Family in to the Fall Season
* July, 2003: Stay Alert and Stay Safe - Streetproofing your kids
* June, 2003: Summer Activities for Stay-at-Home Kids
* May, 2003: Helping Older Relatives Stay Active
* April, 2003: Spring-cleaning: For the home, the family, and you
* March, 2003: Choosing a Summer Camp
* February, 2003: Baby couch potatoes: Tearing your kids away from the TV
* January, 2003: Resolution Solutions
* December, 2002: Holiday Stress Blasters
* November, 2002: Beating the Winter Blues
* October, 2002: Making the most of family mealtimes
* September, 2002: Generation Relations
* August 2002: Vacation Relaxation
* July 2002: Swimming Safety
* May 2002: Stuck in the Middle. The Sandwich Generation
* April, 2002: Supporting Your Child's Social Success
* March, 2002: After the Spring Break ... Take a Break For Yourself
* February, 2002: Keep those loving connections alive
* January, 2002: Ringing in a Balanced New Year
* December, 2001: Holiday Safety Tips
* November, 2001: It's Flu Season
* October, 2001: Halloween Safety Tips
* September, 2001: Back to school

The Balancing Act. Work/Life balance tips Printer Friendly Version

Communication Tips to Help Young Minds Grow

Did you know that how—and how often—we interact with our kids can affect their development and growth? Several studies indicate that children who engage in frequent communication tend to be happier, learn more quickly and even get better grades in school.

Although many parents find it difficult to set aside time to really sit down and talk with their kids, they also find that when they do, the payoff is well worth it. Below are a few tips to help you get the most out of communicating with your kids.

Make communication part of your routine in the car driving to and from school, while shopping, around the dinner table, during bath time or while getting ready for bed. You don’t always need to set aside a special time or place to connect with your kids; you can learn new things about each other during the time that you already spend with each other. The important thing is that the family is together and communicating.

Encourage participation. Children will enjoy interacting with adults if they feel that they’re part of the discussion. Remember to use open-ended questions and invite thoughts and opinions. Try asking for input on what to have for dinner, where to go for a family outing or even what movie to rent. Children have a lot to share when they think their opinions matter.

Listen, really listen. Become an active listener and offer your complete attention for matters big and small. Resist the urge to belittle seemingly ‘silly’ problems and try to keep an open mind. Try to think back to the defining moments in your childhood and remind yourself how important similar issues were to you at that time.

Set aside distractions. When you want to enjoy one-on-one time with your children, turn off the TV, shut down the computer and let the answering service pick up your phone messages. It will improve the quality of time you spend with each other and demonstrate to your kids the importance of your time together.

Encourage play. Kids use games and stories to express themselves. By participating in play you can pick up useful information about your kids’ friends, school activities and other interests. Try:

  • playing storyteller. Make up stories together with one person beginning the tale and the other one finishing it. You can use stories to build self-esteem, to teach a lesson, or to encourage imagination.

  • playing reporter. Have a make-believe interview with your child and then let them interview you. Let your child's questions and answers lead the conversation into other topics of interest.

Remember that kids don't communicate the way adults do. With young kids less is more. They speak and think in specific terms (usually with them at the centre of everything around them). So use brief and to-the-point messages without excessive detail, and make sure you demonstrate the correlation between what you have to say, and how it affects them and their perspective of the world around them.

Say these words out loud and often: “You’re important.” "I love you." "I'm proud of you." "I'm so glad you're here." These are the things that your children need to hear.

Need more information on parenting? Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help with a child to elder care resource and referral service that is geared toward enhancing the quality of family life. Call your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to see if you are eligible for the child to elder care resource and referral service at 1 866.468.9461 or 1.800.387.4765.

This newsletter is meant for informational purposes only and may not necessarily represent the views of individual organizations.

Printer Friendly Version

© 2005 WarrenShepell