Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tips to talk with your children everyday

Yesterday was a heart wrenching day for Colorado parents, especially my beautiful friend at Lifenut, what her children witnessed was unimaginable to me as a fellow mother. We have had a plethora of shootings, suicides and issues with teens/young adults who need to be heard. Despite the talk of mental health issues, broken families or other things that many people want to point the finger at, the bottom line is, our kids.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At home I have three children most days. Two girls and a boy whom I eat dinner with, take to swimming twice a week and tuck them into bed. They are young, still in elementary school however not immune to the stresses of life, bullying, tests and surviving the day to day school work.

Have you ever tried to talk to a 4th grade boy and ask him how school was?
It goes like this.

Me: How was school?

Him: Good

Me: What did you do?

Him: Nothing

Me: What did you learn?

Him: Hmmmm... not much.

By the end of it, I didn't even care to continue the conversation. I had to retrain myself and learn a new way to approach a 9 year old. Kids want to be engaged and talk, they want to let you know what is going on in their life. So, let them.

Julie Pelligrino wrote an article about talking with your kids and a sampling of what questions to ask on Hands On As We Grow. I use it everyday now to connect with my daughters, find out who their friends are and learn about who isn't being nice to them or who they are having issues with. They talk so much more now than they ever have in the past.

Remember that every bit of communication is a stepping stone to more, start when they are young, don't allow them to become a statistic.

Last night, as I tucked my six year old into bed, I covered her American Girl doll with her small blanket, surrounded my daughter with her favorite stuffed animals and turned on her night light, I gave her a firm kiss on her forehead and reminded her, that if she ever needed to talk, I was always there. Perhaps she will remember that when she really needs an ear.

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

This! This is exactly what parents need to remember. Waiting for something bad to happen before talking about these things is foolish. They need to be empowered from their earliest days to communicate anything and everything.