“We communicate face-to-face. No social apps. A little bit of texting, but 90 percent face-to-face. We often talk about school, friends and how to handle bullies. I try to be as open as possible and explain issues in layman’s terms. I can describe our communication process as constantly changing, and, in some ways, challenging.”—Angela Aveo Noriega, mom of one
“I like talking to them face-to-face, giving them one-on-one pep talks on weekends and before going to school on weekdays. When at school and work, we call and text. We tried Skype because it’s what we use at work, too. They’re not allowed to use Facebook on school days. We talk about school work and requirements, stuff that happened in the classroom, games, books, TV shows, sometimes their crushes. Our communication is open. They can tell me anything, but they know that I will correct them if they have false notions.”—Jill Tan Radovan, mom of four
Open and natural
“Our favorite way of communicating is face-to-face. Second is through our family Viber group named ‘the Flying Vs.’ We use technology because it is quick and convenient—Facebook messenger, Instagram private messages, Viber, and also iMessage. We talk about everything and anything, how their days went, their new projects and passions, friends, parties, interesting and funny things they read or see online, our past and future travels… and one of our favorite topics, stories from our [their dad and mine] childhood. Our communication is open and natural.” —Janice Villanueva, mom of three
“We love to tease each other whenever we shower together. We throw hilarious thoughts at each other, especially before bedtime. I make sure we are always having fun and that she is comfortable with me. I don’t judge her and her stories, and I don’t give unsolicited advice so she won’t get intimidated to tell me things. We speak openly with each other, side-by-side or eye-to-eye, while hugging each other [touch therapy, body language]. We can just be ourselves…
“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. When I am not home I always call my kid to check on her and give reminders. I always tag her in educational and entertaining things and posts on Facebook and Instagram, those that suit her interests and age. We leave notes for each other, too. We often talk about school, her classmates, things that happened the whole day, my friends, my dating, what movies to look forward to.
“There is no perfect relationship because we also have misunderstandings and miscommunication; either she just woke up or is acting up or because she’s tired being our little helper, or I’m sleepless and stressed. But timing is everything. We give each other space, then go back to joking around after a while. I’d like to think we are cool, like super cool.” —Tammy, mom of one
“As much as I would like to always talk to my kids face-to-face, sometimes things get so busy with work and with school and their other activities that we end up relying on Viber, texting or calls to communicate. I like that they have access to me 24/7, even when I have to travel for work. Of course, we always make time for face-to-face moment, too.
“We eat together regularly, go out as a family and take vacations together for bonding time. I listen to their stories, laugh with them and enjoy getting to know them not just as my children but as individuals who are growing up really fast.” —Janet, mom of three
“We communicate face-to-face. My sons don’t use social media yet, although they sometimes like to use iMessage. They love to talk to me about animals they read about, and sports. Right now they still tell me everything.”—Beth, mom of two
“We like talking before going to bed and leaving notes and messages for each other. We have a white board and they leave me messages on the board everyday. We communicate face-to-face and don’t use social media apps. Children need one’s undivided attention. It shows them how to treat other people when you pay attention to them.
“We often talk about the schedule for the week and list down all the tasks that need to be done. The kids have chores like helping fold laundry or matching socks, which is not negotiable. Communicating with my kids begins by listening to what they have to say; giving them an opportunity to share what they think makes children feel that their voice matters.
“I encourage them to negotiate for things, but they understand that the last word is always the parents’. By learning to have age-appropriate conversations, you encourage an open dialogue with them. I can be progressive but it’s only because I don’t want my kids to think there would be anything we couldn’t talk about. That starts by talking about sex in a positive yet special way.” —Giselle “G” Töngi, mom of two