***Disclaimer*** I am not a child psychologist, I have not taken any college courses in psychology. I just have the side of personal experience. These are just my opinions on issues we encounter when raising children. These are only the ways I have either handled them, or looking back think would have been a better way to deal with the situation.
Communication is one of the most important things to have established in any relationship, and yet it is one of the most commonly neglected areas of nurturing a relationship. Do you struggle with communication? Does it seem like your child doesn’t communicate often with you? Have you ever felt left out of the loop?
Communication must start early on in parenting. If we can’t properly communicate what we want or our expectations of them, they won’t know. We also want our children to come to us with questions or wanting advice, especially when they are teens.
When our children are young, we really listen to them when they talk because we have to. When they are babies if you don’t listen closely then you won’t understand what they are saying. That should never stop! Often times we busy ourselves doing other stuff while they are talking….STOP THAT! They need our undivided attention always. If you are listening to them and doing something else, you could miss out on something important. Not only that, they deserve our undivided attention.
When Lexi was about 9 I knew I really wanted to make sure she knew she could come to me about anything. I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable asking me questions about boys and sex, and I didn’t want to be uncomfortable answering them. I created an atmosphere that gave her my undivided attention and was comfortable for us to talk. Every Friday night we had “girl talk” night. We would go outside, or somewhere equally as comfortable and quiet during the winter, with a drink and no distractions and talk. No phones, no radios, and no televisions. Just the girls, where we could talk about anything and she didn’t have to feel awkward.
Every week we chose a different topic. Here is a small list of things we started with:
When our children do come to us with a question, we have to remember to respond in a way that will let them know they can continue to come to us. If your daughter wants to talk about a boy, and you get angry or brush it off as if its not serious, she won’t talk to you again. Response is so important, and sometimes they will catch you off guard. I really thought I was 100% prepared to answer all of my daughters questions, that was until she asked me what oral sex was. I darn near choked on my drink, I stammered with words, I didn’t want to tell my daughter what oral sex was! I knew tho if I didn’t tell her, somebody would, and then she may continue to go to them with questions and not get accurate information. So, red in the face, and tripping over my words I explained. That was a difficult parenting moment, but I also knew at that moment she was comfortable coming to me with those questions.
Have you started opening the door to communication with your child? Are you comfortable answering any questions they have?
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