If you’d like your kids to confide in you, conversations are essential. Our parenting skills expert, Carole Disseldorp, is here to show us how. Carole is a parent educator, counselor, and the author of, Easier Parenting.
Today she’ll share 5 listening tips, the best type of questions to ask, and good times for creating the kind of talks that children trust. Let’s find out her advice.
How to Listen When Your Kids Are Talking:
1. Turn toward them.
2. Look eye-to-eye.
3. Ask questions to help them share more.
4. Reflect back their meaning or feelings to show you understand.
5. Avoid interrupting or arguing.
Carole says, “If we can show interest, resist interrogating, and abstain from being judgmental, our children will be more likely to share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts.”
Open-Ended Questions Move the Conversation Forward:
Open-ended questions can’t be answered with:
These questions help kids share their observations, feelings, and thoughts. For example, “What do you think about…?”
Where to Enjoy Great Conversations with Kids:
- Driving times (Keep your eyes on the road.)
- Screen-free times
Carole warns, “If we criticize our children when they open up to us, they are less likely to confide in us in the future.” (From pages 11-14)
If we follow Carole’s advice, it will make parenting easier. Her tips for listening and asking questions are crucial. When children trust that we will listen with interest and kindness, they’ll share their deeper thoughts.
Parents who interrupt, criticize, and argue shut down their power to influence. Why? Because these behaviors hurt feelings and break the trusting bond with their kids.
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Let's THANK Carole for her clear and common sense approach to raising kids. She makes parenting easier for all of us.
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