These parenting mistakes take little thought and children hate them. They stop conversation and kids feel put-down. Our parenting expert, author, and coach, Kathy Slattengren, will share the 7 deadly responses and their solutions.
"Listening is one of those skills that really doesn't seem like it's all that difficult. Why then do so many children report that their parents don't listen to them?
Maybe it's because there are a lot of ways for parents to unintentionally stop conversations with their kids. For example, if your child comes home from school complaining that she didn't have anyone to play with at recess, these types of responses will probably leave her feeling unheard:
1. Criticizing: "Well did you ask somebody to play with you?"
2. Labeling: "A lot of times you act like a little dictator and other kids might not like that."
3. Analyzing: "What did you do to try to get someone to play with you?"
4. Diverting: "Why don't you go play outside with your sister and forget about it?"
5. Reassuring:"I bet everyone in your class really likes you and they probably don't even realize they're leaving you out."
6. Giving Advice: "I think you probably need to ask someone to play who is all by themselves."
7. Lecturing: "When I was your age, I would just join whatever game anyone was playing. You really need to be brave and ask them to let you play. Tomorrow ask at least three children to play with you at recess."
These types of responses are considered roadblocks to conversation because they tend to shutdown communication. It is extremely easy to accidentally use these roadblocks when talking to children.
Solutions: If You Want Your Children to Feel Heard, a Better Approach Is to ~
1. Stop what you are doing.
2. Look at your child.
3. Listen carefully - pay attention to the body language.
4. When your child is done speaking, summarize what you heard.
When you summarize what you heard, you are giving your child the opportunity to clarify or correnct your understanding.
Good listening takes time, patience and attention. You can't full listen while also watching TV or working on the computer. Communication involves not only words but also body language, eye contact and tone of voice. So in order to understand your child's message, you need to both hear the words and watch how they are said.
Listening to our children while resisting the urge to jump in and solve the problem for them is not easy. However, often our children just want us to hear their concerns. They don't necessarily want our advice; they just want to be heard and understood.
Parenting Action Step:
Pick out five days where you will intentionally focus on really listening to your children. Write down something you learned each day from listening to your children.
Kathy Slattengren knows about parenting. Her solutions for listening to kids are easy. Kids love attention and listening well gives it to them.
Let's give Kathy a BIG HAND for her wise solutions.
This excerpt was from her excellent book, Priceless Parenting Guidebook: Ideas for Handling Everyday Parenting Challenges
What are your opinions about this blog post or your suggestions for communicating with your child? Please answer in the comment link below. We want to hear from you."
Jean Tracy, MSS
Sign up for my Free Parenting Newsletter and receive:
- 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids
- 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate
****** If you liked this article, please write a comment and send it to your social media sites below.