How to Have Difficult Conversations With Your Kids

May 13, 2022 3 min read

How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Kids


“When we avoid difficult conversations, we trade short-term discomfort for long-term dysfunction.” 

― Peter Bromberg

The Biggest Mistakes Parents Make


The ultimate goal is to have our kids completely trust us with topics that they want to know about.

In these conversations, we have a clean slate to help them have a healthy relationship with the world around them.

Sometimes we can get caught up in the answeringof the question and we forget to ask questions.

There are three big mistakes we make as parents in difficult conversations:

  1. We discredit the opinions of their kids if they differ from our own.
  2. We feel our kids need to have the same perspectives as us.
  3. We want to teach more than listen.

Your Child Wants to Think For Her/Himself


According to scholastic.com, around the age of 7, children start forming their own opinions and reasoning for the world.

But, the views that feed this reasoning start so much younger.

Have you ever had your kid ask "Why?" about literally everything? (what an age that is lol)

They are trying to find their little places in this big world and we help them do that, but not by answering their questions.

I know, that's a hard pill to swallow.

However, we could be robbing them of their opportunity to become critical thinkers if we just give them the answer every time.

How I've Changed

Instead of answering every question my kids have, Iask themthe questions.

This completely changes the way they think.

Instead of "let's ask mom" your child thinks, "what's the answer?"

This is the start of a safe place of learning for you both.

The reality is: if I was right about everything, I would win the lottery as much as I want, but I'm not. So how can I be sure if I am right or wrong when answering my kids' questions?

I do my best to let my kids learn by themselves while I guide them.

I do this by asking questions.


Listening Is More Than What You Think


Have you ever spoken to someone and they are itching for you to finish just so they can give their two cents?

Something tells me you hate this as much as I do. Why? Because we all want to feel heard.

Kids need their parents to listen to them.

Listening is more than just waiting until they're done talking to speak.

(Though sometimes it's hard to at least do that.)

What is listening?

Listening is actively reacting to what they say.

Listening is asking questions.

Listening is following up on those questions.

Listening is waiting for the right time to speak.

Listening is not arguing or proving them wrong.

This might seem like old news for you.  

However, sometimes it's easy to forget these are little people we are dealing with.

They will have friends and family of their own one day, and listening can be their best skill if you show them how.

We want our kids to stand out from the crowd. People today just want to talk about their opinions. No one wants to listen.

You can help your kids stand out from everyone by teaching them how to listen and what it's like to be listened to.

That will be one their greatest lessons from you.

You'll be surprised how much faster your kids learn if they can do it on their own. Life gets easier for you because they learn how to be independent.

That means that when difficult topics come up, your child will gain a healthy opinion-making process worth every second you have spent listening to them.

Difficult conversations become easy when your child expresses concern or fear about something. The conversation will be open, productive,
and healthy for both you and your kids.

 

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