Effective Father Quality #6: An effective father communicates with his children
James 1:19 says, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…”
We will focus on one aspect of communication.
An effective father is a good and attentive listener. The goal of good and attentive listening is being able to understand your children. As it is with all of relational life, we should seek to understand before being understood.
Here are some suggestions that will help develop the skill of attentive listening*.
- Resolve to face your child squarely. Good listening and communication happens face to face.
- Reflect an open posture. Don’t have your mind made up or thinking about what you are going to say.
- Realign yourself to your child’s level. Try to think as your child is thinking.
- Retain sustain good eye contact. The eyes are the windows to the soul.
- Remain relaxed. If you are calm, your child will be calm. They will take their cues from you.
- Recognize their nonverbal behavior. We can learn as much from their body language as from their words.
- Render positive nonverbal feedback. They will sense your body language and visual cues.
- Refrain from lecturing or scolding. Talk with them. Speak the truth in love
- Respond to your child. Restate what they say to you to make sure you understand them. Try to address what is being said. Stay on topic. Speak the truth in love.
Here’s one final thought. The more you communicate with your young children, the better your communication will be when they are in their teens.
Something to think about…
*Citation: Adapted from Ken R. Canfield, The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois, 1992, p. 149.