Compassionate Parenting: Communication

To encourage more connection and heartfelt co-operation between you and your child, communication needs to be a two-way street.

In the coming week, notice the flow of communication between you and your child. Is it one-way or two-way? Are you doing most of the talking? Do you notice that sometimes your child isn't even listening?

Communication is a two-way street. I remember hearing that as far back as I can remember. Many years ago, my parents were trying to get some information out of me that I did not feel like sharing. What the subject was is now irrelevant, especially since I can’t remember, but feeling intimidated into speaking I remember. I have a better and more heartfelt connection with my parents now than I have since I was very young. I can communicate with them, and have conversations with them as an equal. It is very empowering to feel this way.

As a child, you already know that you are smaller than adults, and that you have more expectations that you feel are unfair. To also be spoken to and talked down to as a lesser being just makes the situation worse. I’m not saying that every parent talks down to their children, because that is obviously not true. I am merely suggesting that those who do choose to talk down to their children ‘because they’re children’ should reconsider their line of thought.

When you were younger and your mother or father would nag at you to clean your room, do your homework, be nice to your grandmother, etc did you really want to follow these rules? Or did you just ‘yeah yeah’ and continue with your day? Personally, I didn’t really listen to the words that came out of my mother’s mouth when she was droning, because it didn’t feel like she was actually talking to me. It felt like she was just talking for the sake of talking, and she wasn’t trying to engage in a conversation. Probably because she wasn’t.

Don’t take me for a fool, I love my mother and I know that she did exactly as she thought was right. I’m proud of who I’ve grown into, and I know that I can thank her for a decent portion of it. My level of self-worth may or may not have been affected by the nagging tone I got from her, but let me assure you that I’ve heard the nag from a fairly high percentage of my family members. They nag because they care. But do you want to make others feel the way you do when someone nags at you?

If you want your child, or your friends, or your family, to listen to your point of view then you will need to engage them. Get a conversation going, and turn the subject onto the matter you want to express. Discuss the pro’s and con’s. Maybe it will seem stupid to have a conversation about why your child’s room should be kept clean, because it’s obvious to you. But it isn’t obvious to them. They are young, and they don’t know the rules of life, it is your responsibility to teach them. So teach, discuss, inform. Don’t demand without explaining the why, they’ll never retain the information this way.

The same goes for others in your life, whether they are your age, older or younger, because everyone deserves to feel included. Everyone deserves to feel that they have a say, and everyone deserves to understand why certain things are expected of them.

Open the lines of communication, and relish in the new depths that your relationships with achieve. Others will feel valued around you, and they will want to spend more time with you. Your children will feel important and worthy of your attention because you take the time to express yourself. Your time now is worth more to their future than you could ever imagine. So take the time.

Peace and serenity,

Simply Me

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