Many parents ask, how can I communicate better with my son? Interestingly, some parents think that the problem may come from the son but in reality, it goes both ways. Better communication is not just about talking to your son but hearing what they have to say. Many people who have not learned how to communicate appropriately, will display this deficiency in a relationship with their sons.
If you are asking, “How can I communicate better with my son?” the answer is simple, though it may be difficult to implement. To communicate better with your son, you should, listen better, not judge them, show trust and also show that you can be trusted, be open-minded and support their opinions, and do not pressure or try to control them.
In this post, we will look more deeply at communication strategies that can help you
So, How Can I Communicate Better With My Son?
Understand The Generation Difference
The very first step to improving your communications with your son is understanding that no matter what generation you are from, there is going to be a generational difference between you and your son. You are going to understand things differently, and have different priorities and he is probably going to be more tolerant than you are.
once you have this understanding, you should prepare to be patient, and make allowances for those views that differ from yours.
Most poor communicators talk rather than listen, but listening helps you get the viewpoint of your son. More importantly, it helps you model the behavior of listening to them, which they in turn will use when communicating with you.
By listening you will demonstrate to your son that you care about them and want to understand them. You also make it clear that what they are saying is important to you.
Don’t just say, “I’m listening, go ahead and speak”. Individuals are very perceptive and will look at your non-verbal gestures to interpret your level of engagement.
When your son has something to say to you, take a few minutes away from whatever you are doing. This includes putting away your phone.
- Engage directly with them by making eye contact.
- Do not interrupt what they are saying, but you can reflect with facial expressions.
- Try to see things from their point of view
- Be sincere in your response.
When I noticed my husband disapproving of my son’s hairstyle, I pulled out a picture of him from the dresser in his teenage days. His hair was what I am sure that his parents must have disapproved of at the time, he had platforms on and a pair of flared pants. I reminded him that my son was going through his “own time” and with patience, he may outgrow his hairstyle. And guess what, he did.
The younger generation is always going to be a little, or very different from you. To communicate better with your son, it will be advantageous to you to take some time and understand their generation rather than trying to have them live in yours.
Sometimes your son is going to make mistakes, instead of racing to rebuke him, try and understand why he took the action in question. He may get in trouble, take a minute to understand the circumstance, or he may underperform in your opinion, give him the guidance to live a successful life.
Trust and Be Trustworthy
When you have a trusting relationship with your son, there will be better communication between them. In some families where the mom takes the role of primary caregiver, they seem to be better able to influence their son. This is because they have developed a trusting relationship with their son.
Parents that have a trusting relationship with their sons will see that their son wants to hear their advice, listen to them for directives, and will share things that are private with them. They will also communicate their successes, goals, fears, and so much more.
Remember that trust is a two-way stream. You have to trust your son, just as you wish them to trust you.
You may want to read this post, Why Does Mom Tell All My Business?
Your son needs to know that you support them. Parental support makes a huge difference in the confidence of a son, daughter, or other young adult and it is the plaster for developing a strong bond with your son.
Even if you don’t think your son knows what he is doing, show some support. Of course, as a parent, you can advise them if you think they will be burned But if they insist on doing something, be there to be their cheerleader, to help them with planning to encourage them all the way, and pick them up if and when they fall.
The world today brings with it a lot of pressure. Social groups, the internet and social media, the college environment, and so on are there to compel our sons to conform to certain rules, to judge and condemn them and to put unnecessary stress upon them.
You want to be the person they feel safe being vulnerable with. But unfortunately, some parents end up contributing more stress to their sons, than everything else they encounter in life.
Many parents want their sons to study at specific colleges, or pursue a special career path. Others want them to look a certain way, or have particular hobbies.
I have heard some young adults say, “My parents are trying to live vicariously through me”.
When you put too much pressure on your son, because you want them to be a certain way, they protect themselves by blocking you. They block you when you speak by not listening to you. They block you emotionally, so they really don’t care what you think. They block your presence by avoiding the space you occupy. If things get bad enough, they will physically block you on their phones and other devices. And the list goes on.
When your son is blocking you, it is hard to communicate with him.
It also becomes extremely difficult to get in a good place with them, so that you can continue a relationship that benefits you both. Many parents realize this too late in the day and are never able to get another chance at being the supportive parents they could have been. Knowing this, don’t get blocked in the first place.
Do Not Control
This is very similar to the last argument where we talk about pressure. If you are asking, how can I communicate better with my son? Then you absolutely want to avoid trying to control them.
Your son may let you control who they are at a young age, even though they may despise you for this. But as they get older, they will begin to gain wisdom and make their own choices.
Standing against your son’s choices will only result in conflict.
Yes, it is OK to allow your son to choose his own career, friends, girlfriend or wife, sexuality, and where he chooses to live.
Any decent parent should be happy that their son is making choices on their own. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot advise them if you think the choices they are making may hurt them. But you also need to recognize that they have a right to accept or reject your advice, and still be able to support them through whatever decisions they make.
Do Not Speak Negatively
Some parents are known to be emotionally abusive, and the abuse is inflicted through the words they speak.
Many people do not understand the power they wield through their words. In naming just a few things, you can comfort, encourage, correct, cheer, praise, lift, rebuke, and condemn with your words. The choice is yours. Words are so powerful that you can use them to motivate your son. But at the same time, you can use your words to discourage him or shame him.
When you speak to your son, try using positive words all the time. Do so even when you are correcting a behavior. Let your words be one that they associate with positivity all the time.
When parents choose to use negative words on their sons, they will either learn to do the same to others or just start avoiding you altogether.
Make Out Time For Your Son
The best relationships are formed when you spend time with each other. If you are asking, how can I communicate better with my son, then you may want to start with spending more time with your son.
When you spend time with each other, you will find that you share experiences that will improve your bond. Your communication is better because you get to share each other’s fun, and sorrows, and you are privy to each other’s life. It also shows that your son is important to you and that you care about them.
You are less likely to want to control your son, and it is easier to gain their trust when you make out time for them.
A Few Final Words
Asking, how can I communicate better with my son, is only the first step, but it is in the right direction. Building a good relationship with the strategies shared in this post would guarantee that you are on the path to positive communication.