- Talk to your daughter in a collaborative way by seeking her input and listening very closely to her.
- Ask your daughter if she wants to talk; let her talk through what she is feeling without rushing her.
- Refrain from fixing her pain and concentrate on expressing empathy with expressions such as, "I know how difficult this must be." Your goal is to listen to her, not to try to influence her.
- Anticipate that there will be disagreements, but this doesn't mean that either of you has to withdraw from the relationship or stop listening to the other. Trust and communication is a two- way street and takes vigilance.
- Discuss issues openly and stay engaged. Compromise is key.
- Be aware of your body language; remember that 95 percent of communication is nonverbal.
- Listen empathetically and validate your daughter's feelings.
Published on September 16, 2009