Getting your children to open up to you can be daunting. You might get one word or two words response like "okay," "fine," "yes," "don't know" and sometimes you might be greeted with a loud silence. All these depend on the kind of relationship you have with your children.
I remember as a little girl, whenever I did something that may not necessarily be wrong, My mom would call me and say, "don't worry, tell me the truth" but before I could finish telling her exactly what happened, I would have received the worst beatings of my life. Because of my parents constant punishments even before hearing me out, I never opened up to them as an adolescent. Ever! Learn to build and strengthen your relationship with your kids. So to break barriers in communication with your children, here are some tips:
Make yourself available, build trust and make it a daily routine to connect with them.
Children tend to open up in casual settings.
Be honest with them. Don't tell them you were perfect when your their age. Such talk can put them off.
Don't compare them with other children in your neighbourhood or that you know elsewhere when trying to correct their wrongs.
Be constructive when pointing out their faults.
Improve your communication skills, especially your listening skill.
Your relationship with your children will not thrive without effective communication.
Patiently allow them to say what they have to say. Don't interrupt or complete their sentence for them.
Whenever they open up to you, do not be quick to always punish them.
Whenever they come to you with a problem, do not be quick to offer solution. Brainstorm with them to find a solution to that problem.