Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New Year’s Resolution Worth Keeping

If you could resolve to do something in 2009 that has the potential of greatly improving your relationship with your children what would it be? After giving it some thought, I decided I’m going to work on becoming a better listener.

Now that both my children are teenagers, it’s more important than ever that I take time to really listen to them. I’ve read plenty of research reporting teenagers often feel their parents don’t listen to them but those same parents feel they are listening to their teens. Why is there such a discrepancy between what the teens and parents think?

Maybe it’s because there are a lot of ways for parents to unintentionally stop conversations with their kids. For example, if your child is telling you about being nervous for an upcoming test, these types of responses will probably leave your child feeling unheard:
  • Analyzing: “I think you just like to focus on being worried about the test because that’s easier than actually studying for it.”
  • Reassuring: “You’ve studied enough. I’m sure you’ll do great on the test.”
  • Giving advice: “If you study an hour right before going to bed, you’ll probably remember more for the test tomorrow.”
Even though I know about various roadblocks to conversation and even covered this topic in the Priceless Parenting class, I still find myself using these types of responses. Knowing something is certainly not the same as being able to consistently do it. This year I’m going to work on avoiding conversation roadblocks and really listen to my children!
Post a Comment