My next FREE live class will be online via You Tube and Facebook on Tuesday, June 25 at 11:30 am – 11:45am. Even if you are not able to attend live, please Register and we will send you the video link right after the class so you can watch it later
I will speak on how to listen so others will LOVE to speak to you. I will be focusing on how to make sure that your loved ones (including your life partner and your kids) feel like they have a voice when they are sharing their thoughts and feelings with you.
For the sake of today’s post, I am going to focus on one aspect of the parent/child relationship that can help kids feel like they can speak to you and have a voice. There are a lot of kids rebelling against their parents because there is not enough flexibility in the parent/child relationship. A couple of recent examples will show a parent who is listening and changing.
This week, I was working with one mom and her twelve year old daughter on the mother learning to give her children a few minutes to transition from a play or school activity to doing a household chore. The mother acknowledged that she usually expects her kids to jump up the second she commands them to do a chore. If they do not comply then she gets angry and sometimes punitive. The kids do not have a voice, and if they complain about needing some time and why they have to do the chore right now – the mother is unyielding. We agreed that sometimes this mother will instead tell her daughter that she has a certain amount of time to accomplish a task so that the child has some autonomy and flexibility. Her daughter now has a voice, and her mother is listening to her. Of course, there are other times when parents really do need their child to transition right into doing an immediate task.
Within this mother-daughter relationship, the daughter has also stopped opening up to her mother about other thoughts and feelings that she is having. This is putting the daughter at risk for many problems during the next few years if the relationship dynamic does not change. The mother needs to listen to her daughter’s needs and not shout commands in a rigid way, otherwise the daughter has anger about too much inflexibility in the parent/child relationship and does not want to open up.
This relationship is now being repaired and is on the mend…
In another parent-child relationship, a dad was recently describing to me that he feels if he tells his children do something, they should do it out of respect and because he said so. His own parent was too strict, and it was definitely rubbing off now in his reactions.
I actually teach parents to have the one time rule. With this rule, a child may give their opinion one time as to why they would like something different. The parent will allow it without assuming the child is mouthing off, rather this is seen as listening to the child’s feelings and opinions. The parent will consider the child’s request. For example, perhaps the father tells his 9 year old to go to bed. However, the child is allowed to say, “Aw, c’mon Dad – it’s Friday night and I am getting older, can’t I stay up until 10 pm?” The parent will then consider the request and sometimes will be flexible, and say “Okay, that makes sense… yes, you can stay up a little later on Fridays.”
However, if the parent says, “No, not on Friday nights because you have soccer practice at 8 am on Saturday mornings. You really do need to get to bed,” then the child needs to comply without further argument. They get one chance to make their case and that is it.
Do you see how this gives children a sense of having a voice, being listened to, and sometimes feeling their voice can be heard?
For more tips on How to speak so others will LOVE to listen to you, please check out some of my upcoming blog posts and Register Now for my online class on June 25!