yourself a priority - Sounds like a paradox, but to be a
good listener you need to take care of yourself. If you are
running on empty and constantly overwhelmed with your own concerns
(worries, commitments, stress) it's hard to be an effective
listener. Taking care of YOU is the first step toward healthy
communication with your kids.
2. Be a
good listener - Demonstrate that you are really
listening. Stop what you are doing (put down that phone!),
make eye contact, and give your children the gift of your
attention. Good listeners also let go of the constant need to
fix. There are times when offering suggestions and lessons
are valuable, but children also appreciate just being heard.
for feelings - Don't tell your children how to feel, just
let them tell you how they feel. Understand that the full
range of emotions is normal. Sometimes children get angry,
sometimes they get sad. Expecting them to be happy and
gracious at all times is unrealistic. Let them know that it
is safe to turn to you if they are feeling strong emotions and
offer them tools to deal with challenging feelings.
Appreciate their experience - See questions,
issues and events from a child's point of view. Parents often
tell their children that something they say or feel is silly,
unimportant or small, but remember the worldview of a young person
- everything is new and big. Respect who they are right now
and meet them where they are.
Want to hear more about effective communication with your
children? Come to my presentation at Bethel Learning
Center, Elmhurst, IL on Tuesday, April 13 (tomorrow!) at
7:30 p.m…..it's only $10 per person and $12 per couple at the
door. All proceeds go to Bethel Learning Center Parents
here for more information or go to www.cathycassaniadams.com.
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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