Building Your Relationship with Your children through Conversations
A few months back I was listening to a discussion by a motivational speaker regarding the parent-child relationship. He was giving tips to build a strong relationship with our children and he said “I plan my time with my own children. Tomorrow I will pick my daughter from school and I have already planned my conversation with her during our thirty-minute drive from school to home.” Other participants of the show looked surprised and he asked them, “ I plan my meetings, my training sessions and my lectures which are only worth a few thousand bucks and you think I don’t plan something which is my life?”
This last sentence struck a chord with me, it was like Oprah Winfrey’s aha moments. The more I thought about it the more I agreed with him.
- Our children are the most precious thing in our lives. How thoughtful are we to guide them and nurture them and cherish them besides giving them good food, expensive gifts and sending them to expensive schools?
- Do we ever plan our little day to day activities and subtly teach them something?
- Do we ever plan how to approach and discuss certain things with them?
- No doubt we love our children, but do we put the amount of thoughtfulness and planning behind our interactions with them which we put in for our household chores, our work, and other less important stuff?
Many people, myself included, do not put the amount of planning and thoughtfulness in our conversations and little interactions with our children which we should.
After a lot of deliberation, I have compiled a few tips to help myself and you to have planned conversations with our children.
Designate a Specific Time for the Conversation
You should specify a certain time for the conversation. It doesn’t need to be a very long time an age-appropriate time from ten minutes to thirty minutes is enough. Initially, only the parent should be aware that he/she is going to have a certain conversation at so and so time. With the passage of time, we can also involve the child in this planning phase and he/she can also give input regarding what to talk about and when.
Keep in Mind The Interests of The Child
Whenever you want to talk to children especially young children, keep in mind their interests. If you want to talk about a certain topic you don’t necessarily have to start the conversation from that particular topic, start from a point of interest of the child and then take the conversation to the point of your interest in a very subtle way.
Tell a Story
Fabricate an age-appropriate story to tell. This will help you educate the child indirectly.
A very easy thing will be to tell a story from your childhood, something happened to you or a friend of yours when you were little and so on. Children are very much interested in the childhood stories of their parents. They can easily relate to them and an instant connection is formed between parents and children. The comments and suggestions made by the child during this storytelling can give a very good insight into the interests, fears, and problems of the child. This can give important points for future discussions. Usually, children do not tell when asked directly but they easily begin to open up in such storytelling activities.
If the child brings up something which you don’t like or its something totally against your expectation please DON’T OVERREACT. Easier said than done but if you will overreact the child will shut down the window of communication. Only through this window, you will be able to help your child. If the child closes this window then he/she will replace you with a friend or someone else who might not be trustworthy. Assure the child not only with your words but also with your actions that you are there to listen and help no matter what.
Believe Your Child
Whatever your child tells you, believe it. If you can’t fully believe pretend that you believe. This is very important in building a healthy relationship and a comfort level for the child which will enable him/her to trust you.
Be a Role model
The values you preach in your “stories” and conversations with your children will be multiplied by zero if you yourself don’t act upon them. The whole activity will become a mere exchange of words with no meaningful outcome. So be a role model for your children, if they see what you tell them they will more likely believe it and act upon it.
If You make a mistake; Apologize
We all make mistakes and at time parents do not act according to the values they preach. If you did so just apologize and try to act responsibly in future. This will show the child that making mistakes is not a big deal and you can make a fresh start after making one.
Keep the Conversation Confidential Unless the Child wants to Disclose
If there is something the child doesn’t want to disclose to everybody else keep it confidential. Don’t tell it to your friends, your spouse or your other children. It’s very important for building trust. If it is something serious and you need to disclose it, first of all, convince the child that you need to disclose it.
We need to put special thoughtfulness and keen planning for building the personalities of our children. Little investments in our relationships with our children can yield immeasurable benefits not only for ourselves but for every other person in this world. We don’t like the society we are in but we can definitely make it the way we want it to be by putting our minds and hearts in raising our most precious beings.
Do give your opinions and thoughts regarding planning our conversations with our children in the comment section.
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