Help Them Express Themselves
When couples or singles become new parents it’s a moment of intense happiness and fulfillment. The world has just become a better place because your child was born. As kids grow up in their family units, they begin to have a voice. This is a voice that should never go unheard. It’s important for parents to actively listen to their children, especially through the adolescent age when emotions are running high.
Many parents get frustrated at this time, as the pubescent years usually always present the same confusion in teens. Teenagers feel unheard, unappreciated, lost and bewildered with the world before them. They are presented with a tiny bit of reality for the first time and it isn’t easy on them. As adults and parents, we sometimes forget what we went through at that time and what our own experiences unveiled to us. Active listening is an action that all parents should take time to practice and learn. It can build bridges instead of walls with your kids and you will create a higher level of trust. Try some of these actions to build a strong foundation with your kids and get to know who they are as individuals instead of raging, hormonal teenagers.
Appreciate Their Quirks
Your kids probably accept most of your quirks as a parent because they don’t really have a choice in the matter. Why not accept theirs as well? If your son must eat his food in some type of orderly fashion at dinner, allow him. Ask him why he likes eat this way? There might be something interesting to his method. If your daughter must brush her hair every time she is about to walk into a store, go with the flow. Ask her why she feels she needs to do this? The more you act curious about their specific ways of managing themselves, the less they will feel judgment or awkward. This could open up many doors in the family trust department.
Tears to Be Recognized
If you find that your kid has been sad and unhappy lately or if you see them isolating off to their room, try not to push them to tell you what is wrong. Try not to get mad or overly frustrated if they do not answer. The more you push, the less you will ever hear from them. Provide words of comfort and tell them that you are there for them to talk to at anytime and that you will not try to fix the situation. If they choose to share a painful moment with you, ask them afterwards if they want any help or advice on how to deal with the matter.
Quid Pro Quo
Something for something. It’s a universal teaching, and you can apply this to the act of listening to your kids. Why not share some experiences you have gone through, good and bad? The more you show you trust your kids with your own personal life stories, the more they may consider sharing theirs. Listen to them in an objective manner and remember to tell them when you can relate to them. Provide an example of how you relate. The act of relating approach can do wonders for bringing parents and kids closer together.