Guest Author - Paula Petrie
We all have our own unique personality. We donít all think or act alike. Often this creates clashes between a mother and child. Taking the time to listen and working at understanding will help build a strong relationship between the two.
Children tend to pick inopportune times for a heart to heart. But if your child wants to talk, try to at least to find out whatís bothering him or her, so you can talk in more detail later. It is important to a child that you donít keep reading, or act distracted, and ignore what he is saying.
By speaking quietly, your child learns the value of calm and quiet conversation. By maintaining eye contact, you will know if she understands what you are saying or if the conversation appears to bother her in some way.
Learn what you can about your childís daily experiences. Talk about things that happened at school or with friends. This helps his perspective and helps him develop empathy for others. Explain situations he sees on TV or phrases that he hears on the radio. If you put off a childís questions he will look for answers some place else.
A child needs to know that she wonít be ridiculed for her opinions or feelings. Trusting you with her feelings helps develop your childís confidence. If a child doesnít trust you with her feelings, she is less apt to share experiences and she is more apt to react emotionally, even pitching a fit when you are trying to communicate.
Donít talk down to a child, it makes her think you donít find her smart. Use examples she can understand. Speak respectfully to your child and she will confide in you.
Speaking disrespectfully knocks down a childís developing self-esteem. A child needs to hear from you when he has done good or positive things, to build his self-esteem and to give him the confidence to talk to you. Let your child know you are really listening.
Learn to disagree without being disagreeable, so your child doesnĎt feel put down. By listening to your childís feelings and letting her know you understand, you have created an opportunity to help her to see why you feel differently.
Disagreements are a fact of life. Unresolved disagreements, where a child feels misunderstood or ignored, will explode to the surface when he or she is upset about something else. It is important that we deal with our feelings. Teach a child to deal with negative feelings, instead of leaving them to fester.
Children are inexperienced and incapable of understanding their deeper emotions. What goes right or wrong in a relationship is up to mom to help keep straight. When your frustration runs high and communication is a bust, take a time-out. Change the subject, lighten up, and get silly.
Humanity often seems lacking in thoughtful consideration and generosity. We can change that by strengthening these characteristics in our own homes for today and for the future.