"My son doesn't tell me anything," is a very common phrase among mothers and fathers I know. There is always a more communicative boy or girls in our children's group of friends who keep us up to date on school issues: if the teacher has punished them, if they are going to go on a field trip, about that interesting debate they had in class ... Because if it were up to our children, some or parents would not know anything.
The question is: don't our children count because they are reserved or because we don't know how to listen to them? Children, your children, are smart and intuitive to rage, perhaps if they do not count it is because you do not listen.
Let's do an examination of conscience: Do we really have time for all the stories our children tell? Perhaps we have told them so many times that ... "tell me later I'm very busy" that they end up assuming our multitasking as an obstacle to communication. In such a way, that they tell us less and less.
It is also true that many times we forget to ask them about their day, and we do not take enough time to sit down and listen to their stories. However, in this way, we are creating a huge gap between parents and children, we are holding back communication and dialogue in the family. If our children don't count, it may not be because they are shy, quiet or reserved, it may be because we haven't taken enough time to listen to them. Let's remedy it:
1. Take the time to listen: Wait for a moment when you have nothing to do, set aside time every day without distractions, or mobile, or pending washing machines, to sit with your children and listen to them, even if their story seems small or banal.
2. Don't force him: Don't force him to tell you why he got mad at his friend if he doesn't want to, but do let him know that you'll be there when he's ready to talk and that you may be able to help him solve his problem.
3. Make an active listening: I am sure that on many occasions you have found yourself looking at a person while they are speaking and nodding while thinking about something else. Avoid this attitude with your child, make him feel heard by asking him questions about his explanation or making comments at the end of his talk.
4. Don't interrupt: wait for me to finish to ask those questions or comments. It takes him more than you to find the words or tell a story from beginning to end without getting tangled up, he may take a lot of turns, but he is learning to explain himself.
5. Don't judge him: If every time your child tells you something, you tend to reprimand him or make judgments about what he did or why he did it, he will come less and less to you. Let him express himself, tell him what he did, even if it was wrong. Maybe he just wants to be heard, at another time you can teach him a lesson about what is right and what is not.
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