Ultimate Guide to Parenting Communication

Learning how to communicate with your child can foster healthy relationships. See more parenting pictures.
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Being a parent is a full-time job -- and probably the hardest job you'll ever have to do. The truth is that parents play a pivotal role in shaping the people their children will become, and being a parent means also being a teacher, role model, protector and confidante.

And just like with any other successful relationship, communication is the key to developing a healthy relationship between you and your child. Unfortunately, if you have to tell your child a thousand times to do something or can't seem to nail down a good method of discipline, it's possible that a lack of effective communication is the real problem [source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services].

Learning to communicate with your child is important to creating a stable and loving home life (and to preserving your sanity). Not only will day-to-day activities like homework, meals and bedtimes go much more smoothly, but good communication may also improve your child's long-term health and development. Studies show that children who don't feel that they have a good relationship with their parents are more likely to have low self-esteem, difficulties in school and emotional problems, and they're at a higher risk for using drugs and engaging in risky sexual behavior [source: Mental Health America].

But before you go calling in the Super Nanny, take a deep breath and relax. With some simple tips and advice, you can improve the ways you communicate with your child and start to build a strong and healthy relationship. Read the next page to learn about the importance of being consistent with your child and how best to do it.