• Set aside time to talk with your child everyday.  Make communication a habit for both of you.
  • Choose the best time to talk:  when everyone is well rested, well fed, and not feeling rushed.
  • Learn to listen.  Give your complete attention so your child feels valued.
  • Encourage responses.  Phrase questions so they need more than a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
  • Use the right language.  Choose words and concepts that your child can understand.
  • Have patience.  Let your child finish explanations. Don't interrupt or jump to conclusions.
  • Show respect.  Use a quiet courteous voice.  Avoid putdowns.
  • Be sensitive to your child's feelings.  Think before you speak.
  • Eliminate talk-stoppers, such as commands, ultimatums, preaching and judging.
  • Tell your child "I love you" often.  A child who feels cherished is more willing to communicate.

REMEMBER - Good communication helps build family bonds and school success,.