COMMUNICATING IN A POSITIVE WAY WITH CHILDREN
Hi everyone, this is a new activity for me …so in September I asked the question what challenges are you currently facing with regards to your children.
I received a number of responses and they all had a similar theme of wanting to communicate in a positive manner with their child rather than in a confrontational manner.
Firstly I just want to say please take my suggestions or guidance as just that – mine and always always follow your own intuition and do what suits your situation.
So I just wanted to start by saying as a mum I have made many mistakes in the parenting department. I have learnt that it is important for me when I feel triggered to hold my tongue and observe my thoughts and steal myself away from the situation if not physically then mentally. When I am triggered the likelihood of my response being calm, logical and let’s just says wise is fairly low.
So I have learnt to step back and spend some quiet time reflecting on the issue at hand. The first question I ask is what is the real issue here? Who’s issue is it? Is their behaviour or situation triggering within me something I haven’t healed within myself, or a fear that I have concerning my children. Is my own behaviour and role modelling having an impact on what is happening. If it is mine I actively work on this myself… which may at times involve a chat with a wise friend or a healing session. I believe it is important as a parent that I don’t project my own fears and limitations on to my children. They are individuals, different from me – they will have different views, opinions, and experiences and that is what I personally like to encourage.
If I have resolved that it is not my issue I put myself in their shoes to really understand what is going on in their world that maybe causing this behaviour. Before raising this issue in conversation I remind myself of how precious our relationship is and what I truly would like the outcomes of the interactions to be. Not having a set expectation of what I want but going with the intent to truly listen and understand things from their perspective. Usually I will let them know in advance that I would like to talk through some things on the particular issue and ask them to also think about anything they want to raise. I ensure the timing of the chat is appropriate – that is free from distraction and time limitations and at a time of day where we are both receptive to listening. Eg.Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
I always start by affirming them, noticing their growth and the positive changes I am observing in them. I gently raise the topic and to put them at ease I may refer to the difficulties I had in this area when I was a child and then let them to first talk first. I keep asking questions in a calm manner with no judgement that allow me to understand their perspective. Usually starting with how, who , what , where but never why – as this raises defences. I repeat back what I have heard to ensure I had understood.
Sometimes my prior reflection is not even close to where they are coming from and so I might just thank them for sharing and Iet them know I need more time to think about things. I have found in this situation it is so much better to think things through rather than try and resolve it then and there. If I think it will benefit I share my perspective and allow her to understand where I am coming from. I believe it is ok and important to be vulnerable around our children (I’m not talking meltdown, but to express what we think and feel) so they understand us more deeply and also share more openly.
Usually when I take this approach we both are able to brainstorm some ideas of how to move forward. We throw around these ideas until we are both agreeable with a solution. Sometimes we both need to stretch to find a solution. In this way it is a team approach that we are both committed to, the relationship grows stronger with respect and understanding…..goal achieved confrontation is avoided!
So in summary my tips to communicate in a positive manner with your children or in fact anyone are as follows:
- When triggered by a situation don’t respond at that point in time. Give yourself time to reflect before any discussion takes place.
- Be honest with yourself and determine who really has the issue. If it’s yours actively work to resolve this. If you believe it is not yours spend some time putting yourself in your child’s shoes to truly understand their world.
- Let them know in advance that you want to talk about the issue and pick an appropriate time.
- Approach the conversation with no agenda but to truly listen and understand.
- Always affirm your child and the importance of your relationship at the beginning of any discussion.
- Be open to not having all the answers or resolution in one sitting.
- Be honest with your own feelings and share these if appropriate.
- Brainstorm and find a solution in which both of you can live with – please note this. You maybe not be entirely comfortable but you can live with it.
Take care of yourself
Love from me
Karen Ormston is a Professional Life Coach, ThetaHealing Practitioner and Medical Intuitive. Owner-director of Petite Soul Sanctuary. www.petitesoulsanctuary.com.au