Effective Communication

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Child Development


Before your child can obey you, s/he has to be able to understand you. And before you can fully understand what will work best with your children, you have to know how to listen to and understand them. Healthy and skillful communication is an essential element in successful parenting. Without it, your attempts to utilize new skills will fade into confusion and frustration.

So often parents come to me asking for help with raising their children. Frustrated and tired, they exclaim, "I've tried everything!" My response to them is, "You may have tried many things, but you haven't stayed long enough with the things that work." Regardless of how many books a parent has read, or how many support groups they attend, none of the skills they have learned will work without tenacity; the missing ingredient to many futile, parental efforts.

Tenacity is the ability to keep with the program, even when your frustration level is at its peak. There are no magic solutions to eliminating parenting troubles. Every new skill needs to be combined with healthy communication, patience and time for everyone involved to begin using the new program. I know of nothing that brings about change flawlessly, the first time it is used. In other words, take the skills outlined in these lessons and practice them until they feel normal. Once you have grown used to them, you should be able to see a marked improvement in whatever the original problem was. Don't give up because everything didn't go the way you hoped it would the first time. Give it at least a week of consistent change. If you aren't 100% consistent, it will not work.
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