Were you listened to by an adult when you were young? Most of us weren’t because our parents weren’t listened to when they were young. And so the cycle of disconnection continues.
But, it can stop with you! You can learn the communication skills and understanding that allowing children to talk about their ideas and thoughts develops their thinking brain. This is a fairly new concept.
If as a parent you want your kids to thrive, the common belief is that it’s important to tell them what to think and do. They are children and therefore make mistakes which could be very dangerous for them. When children are young, they need your protection.
What about when they are maturing, say around age 8, 9, or 10? Their prefrontal cortex is developing and this means that they need time to process ideas and make some of their own decisions. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for reasoning, logic, impulse control, short-term memory, judgment, and planning and isn’t fully developed until the middle to late ’20s. It needs practice now to get to a healthy developmental state in the future.
Kids/teens “know” they need to exercise their logical brain and they will often start by arguing with you about your requests. When they argue, think “Wow, there’s the brain exercising!”
What I suggest instead of arguing back when you are giving directions, which doesn’t help at all, is to find times when they can make their own decisions. So, rather than your kids arguing against you, they use their prefrontal cortex, thinking brain, to express their thoughts in order to make their own decisions.
You could ask them their thoughts about a show, a friend, and or what they like to do and why. Once you have mastered how to listen without blocking communication, you could support them as they make decisions about what sport or instrument to learn, what to wear, what courses to take, or what to do after graduation.
If you want to create a closer relationship with them, then this step of listening without judging them, telling them what to do, and talking about yourself plus other communication blocks, is the third step to take. When you trust them enough to make decisions and you have the courage to let them struggle and make mistakes, they will feel closer to you. Your belief in your kids/teens is the glue that binds you together.
A big complaint of older kids and teens is that their parents don’t listen to them and don’t care what they think and feel. If you hear these complaints, it’s probably because you haven’t learned the skills to create the close relationship that your kids/teens want and you do, too. The exciting part is that you can learn the first 3 steps to create closeness and trust. Click on each of the steps below to gain the wisdom you need to take a big, yet easy, step forward towards closeness.
The 3 Steps to creating a closer parent-child/teen relationship are:
Step 1 – Shift your adversarial parenting beliefs to ally parenting beliefs.
Step 2 – Avoid hurtful words.
Step 3 – Watch out for shutting down personal expression by using Communication Blocks.
Your kids/teens can handle anything when they know you are on their side, their ally. The three steps above are a tried and true system hundreds of parents have learned from me with successful results.
Check out my bonus parenting classes on getting kids to listen, be respectful, cooperate, and share their struggles plus more. CLICK HERE.
Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to download “The 7 Most Common Phrases Parents Say That Stop Kids From Listening”! You’ll also receive my weekly emails where you will learn how to transform annoying conflict into loving cooperation in your home.
Cynthia is available for private coaching sessions so you can quickly get the answers you need and make those much need changes right away. Click HERE for a complimentary 45-minute Fast-Track Clarity Session to learn what you can do now to create more harmony in your home.