You can assume that your child wants and needs to emotionally connect with you on a regular basis. That is a developmental fact based upon solid research. Children need to feel understood and empathy is your most potent way of making that emotional connection with him.
Listen for the emotion
As a starting point, you want to begin listening for the emotion in your child's interaction with you. It's not always easy to pinpoint because we tend to focus on the content of a conversation instead of the emotion. But, if you think about it, the feeling behind the words is usually at the heart of what we want others to really understand.
GARY GILLES, LCPC
Via Edwin Rutsch