Take an active interest in your child

Sometimes communicating with our children can be a challenging undertaking. We have the impression that they are not listening to us, and they have the impression that we are not listening to them. Parenting success depends on the ability to listen and communicate effectively with children. Feelings, views, and thoughts expressed by your children are valuable, and you should take the time to sit down with them, listen freely, and approach them honestly.

It seems to be a natural propensity to react rather than respond to a situation. We judge others based on our own personal feelings and experiences. Responding, on the other hand, means being attentive to our child’s thoughts and emotions and allowing him to express himself freely and honestly without fear of repercussions from us or other adults.

By responding, we are sending the message to our child that his emotions and ideas are not important. However, by reacting to the child’s feelings and asking questions about why they are feeling the way they are, you initiate a dialogue that allows them to share their feelings more deeply and give you a better understanding of where they are coming from. Responding also gives you the chance to collaborate with your child on a solution or action plan that he may not have come up with on his own. Your child will also appreciate the knowledge that you can, in fact, understand what he is going through.

At this time, it is essential that you give your child your full attention. Put down the newspaper, clear the dishes, or turn off the television so you can hear the whole question and make eye contact with your child if necessary. Maintain composure and curiosity, then provide forward-looking responses to the situation.

Don’t tell your child that he or she shouldn’t be unhappy, angry, or irritable. Our first inclination may be to say or do anything to dissuade our children from engaging in the activity, but this can be a counterproductive strategy. Again, pay attention to your child, ask why he is feeling the way he is, then provide workable ways to ease the negative feelings he is experiencing.

Our children have feelings and go through challenging circumstances the same way we do. By actively listening and interacting with our kids as they talk about it, we communicate to them that we care, that we want to help, and that we have comparable experiences from which they can draw inspiration and support from us. Keep in mind that you must respond rather than react.