Parents Listen To Your Children
Parents are you listening? Like really listening to what your children have to say? It can be difficult to find the time to do all of the things parents are “supposed” to do, but there is a simple aspect of parenting that many of us are missing- listening. Many of us feel that if our child has something that they want or need to tell us that they already know they can. Yet sometimes that isn’t enough, sometimes children require a bit of prompting to speak about themselves. Here are some simple ways that you can begin to listen carefully to what your child is actually saying.
Listening attentively is a very important aspect of parenting that many of us don’t do. It isn’t that we are neglecting to ask our kids how their day was and what they are looking forward to, but we are neglecting to actually LISTEN to them. Parents need to listen to their children to find out how they are really doing. Asking your children how they are doing routinely can become a really good gage for when they are doing well and are not doing so well. By having a reference point of how your child normally answers such questions you can begin to notice if things seem to be off the mark. You can choose to ask your child how things are going any time of the day whether it be dinner or before bed, just as long as you make a point of setting aside the time to do so. Listening is a skill that takes time and practice to get good at, but once you have you will be grateful for it.
The earlier you start really listening to your children the better. It will allow you to become closer, grow together and help with your children’s problems. And although it may be difficult, advice is not always necessary. Sometimes our children (especially when they hit their teens) need to be able to vent, to speak without fear of judgment. So all you have to do is listen up and take notice! The old saying is true, “Parents need to listen more and talk less”. You can start the listening process anytime, just be consistent and listen to what your child is saying and feeling. Your children will appreciate that their parents listen!
Opening the doors for communication with your children can help in many different aspects of your relationship. It is a good idea to ask your children daily about how they are doing, because more often than not we think “she looks happy” or “he is doing well in school” so there can’t be anything wrong. Often not being emotionally available can lead to your child to bottle up their feelings or feel as though they have no one to talk to. Spending a few minutes with your child daily and really looking and listening to them can create a healthy open communication policy. This will be benefit many aspects of your relationship because your child will feel as though they are not alone, and you will be in tune with your child and the specific challenges that they face. It is important to be in a private area where your child feels comfortable to speak freely and to turn off all distractions (cell phone, TV, computer). It is important not to mistake asking questions and listening as the same thing because they are in fact two very different things. Sometimes even sitting with your child through a few moments of silence can help your child to feel like they can say what is on their mind allowing them direct the conversation.
Parenting isn’t easy, but listening can help you to become more in-step with your child. How do you open the doors of communication with your child(ren)? Any advice to share?