An important part of being a healthy relationship role model for kids is to practice healthy communication. This includes treating your child and other adults in your life with kindness and respect and interacting with them using healthy communication skills. Another key piece in promoting healthy relationships is talking to your kids about what healthy communication looks like and teaching them important skills to help them have healthy interactions with the people in their lives.

One step in practicing healthy communication is to avoid using blaming “you” statements when handling conflict, and instead, using “I” statements. By using “I” statements your kids will be able to observe positive examples of communication and conflict management and learn how to communicate using emotions. Not only is it important to model these behaviors, but it is also important to talk to your kids about why using “I” statements, as well as other healthy communication skills, can help them have healthier and more meaningful relationships.

Another great way to model healthy communication is to acknowledge and respect your child’s feelings. This will show them that it is safe to communicate how they feel, which will enable them to share their feelings and ideas with others in the future, while also respecting the other person’s opinions and emotions. An important part of encouraging your child to share their feelings is to help them develop a vocabulary of feeling words to express their emotions more effectively. By teaching children the importance of sharing their emotions and respecting the emotions of others, they will be able to foster healthy relationships and facilitate positive communication throughout their lives.