Communicating with our children can be a difficult task at times. We feel like they’re not listening to us; they feel like we’re not listening to them – it is a crazy cycle.
Good listening and communications skills are essential to successful parenting. Your child’s feelings, views and opinions have worth, and you should make sure you take the time to sit down and listen openly and discuss them honestly.
I shared a bit about the importance of open communication and finding the times during our busy days to connect with our kids in my Back 2 School Survival Guide. We often miss opportunities which are right in front of our eyes just because we think we don’t have the time to stop or that it doesn’t matter. Be intentional when it comes to grabbing those moments when your child wants to share with you. This is even more critical as your children enter the tween/teen years!
You can learn a lot about our kids when we take the time to just ‘be’ with them and truly hear them, we just need to keep a few things in mind.
Respond – Not React
It seems to be a natural tendency to react rather than to respond. This seems to be automatically how we are wired – especially for those of us who struggle with being inpatient and with the inability to pause in the midst of conflict. We pass judgment based on our own feelings and experiences. However, responding means being receptive to our child’s feelings and emotions and allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of repercussion from us. [Read more…]