I’ve recently read an article from Bright Side about taking time to talk with kids and I was reminded of how important interactions with kids are.
Sometimes, there are conversations among kids that adults can use to insert moral truths.
BETTER THAN SANTA
I remember a conversation between my son and his cousin recently where I heard them wishing Santa was real. I asked them why and they told me so they could receive many gifts.
I asked them if they could breathe air.
If they had food this morning,
and if they have families, friends, etc.
I told them that these are also considered gifts, and that not all gifts are toys. Sometimes, gifts come in different forms-they may not be from Santa, but they are from God who loves us so much. I added that he is even greater than Santa because of all the great things he has done and he is doing.
There were more conversations and follow-up questions, but my point is that:
We can help kids in their growth and understanding of the world around them by simply joining in the little conversations they share.
Talking and listening to our kids are very important parts of their emotional lives.
Listen to their stories. They maybe senseless to you, but it is something amazing for them.
The moment we show that we don’t care about what they are talking about, the more they’ll talk less to us.
This is just one of the many reasons why teens don’t talk to their parents anymore. Somewhere along the road, parents stopped spending time listening and talking to them.
It breaks my heart whenever teens talk about how their parents are always away, and that though they know their parents are working hard, they still wished for parents to understand them by taking time to talk to them.
The common lines among teens that I hear are:
“They are always away.”
“I don’t know. They don’t really talk to me, like heart to heart talk.”
We work hard for our kid’s future not realizing that the future is being built now.
Parents were just there, but have never really interacted with them. Being physically present is good, but here should be interaction. Not necessarily 24 hours, not the non-stop interaction. No. Just simply be concerned at what’s happening behind the closed rooms, behind the late arrivals from schools, behind the weak excuses they make, behind the unending excuses to not stay at home.
The past generations grew up not being close to parents because their parents were too strict. The present however, tends to be too close that they forget to put limits.
A PARENT OR A FRIEND?
Be a parent, and not always a friend to them.
They have too many friends, they don’t need another one. They just have two parents, if you become a friend, they’ll have one less.
Friends don’t usually discipline each other.
Just the right balance between the two.
Maybe there are times that you want to feel cool by being close to them and that’s okay, but set limits. You are a parent first, before a friend. Lack of discipline can lead our kids to be astray. They need guidance.
Friends offer a different one because the wisdom they have is not the same as what parents have.
For parents who are involved in organizations, religious activities, and other foundations for a good cause, or even overtime at work- this is where it can be difficult.
People tend to feel guilty when they say “no” to a great cause, but the truth is that our kids are suffering because they are left out.
People who spend long hours serving in organizations or religious groups put all their time in what they have committed to that they sometimes neglect the family.
A great way to overcome this is to involve the kids or teens in what we are doing, and not just tagging them along. Let them be part of it until they carry the same burden as ours.
Not doing this will cause kids to feel confused as to why their parents are spending more time with other people, talking to them while not even attending to their needs.
Invest time in our kids so that they can grow up being allies and not enemies. So that they can be with us solving problems and not being the problems to be solved.
HOW CAN I INTERACT WITH THEM IF I AM AWAY?
We may be miles away from them, but if we keep on talking to them, asking about their days, they will feel we are interested in what’s happening in their affairs.
For those living away from their families, if you have time watching movies, browsing endlessly on Facebook, playing energetically on games…then you certainly have time to talk to your kids over video calls.
A friend of mine never fails to end a day without talking to his kids using free video calls. Whenever the kids do something bad that needs discussion, the mom allows the father to exercise his authority as a father by letting him talk to his kids and impose discipline even if he is away.
This helps the the family connect during tough times. Though away, the kids felt the concern of their father and the continuous guidance remain.
The more we show our concern by keeping communications open, the more they will open up to us.
They will grow up sharing details of their lives to us because they know we are there to listen.
Raising kids, especially teenagers can be tough. How do you keep keep on interacting with them? Share your stories below for us to learn. =) Have a great day!
- Training Kids to Live Right
- Being a Diligent Parent
- 7 Tips for Raising Teenage Boys
- 4 Ways to Raise Up Girls
- 4 Ways to Communicate With Your Teenager