COPE CopeLine Supervisor

February 2015

Your Wellness & Work-Life Newsletter

How to Establish Healthy Communication with Your Children

Communicating effectively with your children is essential to their growth; it helps them develop good relationships with others and helps them maintain a more positive outlook on life. Furthermore, by establishing healthy communication with children, you set an example of a caring relationship for them to follow. With frequent and consistent communication, your children will be better able to put their feelings into words and develop healthy coping, problem-solving, and negotiating skills.

And one more plus, your children won't be the only ones to benefit. By keeping an open ear to your children, they are more likely to come to you for guidance, and you're more likely to know what's going on in their lives. This will help establish a strong bond that both you and your children can enjoy.

Follow these simple steps to establish and maintain healthy communication with your children:

Be available. If you're not available, your child can't communicate with you. It's important to set aside time every day to talk with your child. Get into a routine that can remain consistent so that, even with limited time, your child can rely on it as part of his or her schedule. For example, try to have dinner together every night or sit and talk while you tuck your child in at bedtime.

Be a good listener. If you think back to when you were a kid, you may remember that you didn't always feel understood. Your child may feel the same way at certain times, but you can help by being a listening adult. Invite your child to talk about how they feel. When you listen, he or she will feel better about the problem and have the confidence that you think it is important.

Show empathy and understanding. Take time to understand what your child is feeling, even if you disagree with him or her. Listen to what's expressed, restate it, and ask if you correctly understood what was said. This will show that you acknowledge your child's feelings and that you understand what's happening in your child's life.

Be a good communicator. To have healthy communication with your children, you'll need to be a good communicator. When speaking to your children, make sure that your words, tone of voice, and actions send a consistent message. It is also helpful to use words that describe and explain how you feel. For example, instead of shouting about why your child didn't finish his or her daily chores, tell your child calmly that it made you upset to see that tasks were left unfinished.

Be a good role model Young children tend to mimic their parents' behavior, so if you make it a habit to speak about your feelings instead of shouting about wants or demands, your children will follow suit. It might take a little more effort, but the results will speak for themselves. And you just might find that you'll be more productive and happy at the office if things are running smoothly at home.

Contact COPE at eap@cope-inc.com if you'd like help in finding a professional.
Written by Delvina Miremadi LifeAdvantages.

The Summer Camp Guide for 2015

Snow may be on the ground, but registration for summer camp is well underway. Summer camp gives your child the chance to discover new interests, learn valuable life skills, and make friends. Finding the right camp, however, can be a challenge. To help you, COPE is pleased to send its annual summer camp guide. Featuring over 150 camps in the District of Columbia, Virginia, the information includes:

• location and hours of operation
• ages accepted
• general activities and special programs
• tuition and special program fees
• email and website addresses

If you have special needs or concerns that you'd like to discuss with a counselor, contact us at eap@cope-inc.com.

Cope Incorporated