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The Best Way to Communicate with Your Kid in Every Phase

One of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do in your parenting is learn how to communicate with your kid. Communication in and of itself has never been easy, but add an age gap, youthful angst, and a budding vocabulary, and you might find yourself feeling like you’ll never get it right, that you and your child will always be in a perpetual state of misunderstanding each other.

That feeling is totally understandable. Most of us either haven’t learned or truly practiced what real communication is—an exchanging of ideas in a safe environment where everyone feels heard and, hopefully, understood. For many of us, the process of communicating can feel downright uncomfortable, leaving us fleeing from awkward conversations or responding in ways we aren’t proud of.

But here’s our chance to get it right. Now, with our kids, is an opportunity to shape what true communication is in the next generation. We have the power to raise kids who are not only confident enough to express themselves and communicate their needs, but also to nurture compassionate listeners. In each phase, your kid’s communication style will be different. Here are some ways you can best communicate with your kid, no matter the phase they’re in: