Are you reading this to find some actionable tip to make parenting a breeze? Do you have a child who is quick to anger and seems to lose his/her temper quickly? Let’s face it, parenting is TOUGH. Raising resilient and confident children while maintaining our composure in a sleep-deprived, caffeine-medicated haze is no easy feat. Check out this ONE thing that can improve your child’s behavior.
There has to be a trick right?
A magic fix that will make this whole thing a lot easier?
There is one thing…and it’s simple. It’s to listen.
Do you hear me? How you can improve your child’s behavior through listening.
Not just listen, but to also hear.
As parents, we want to fix. We want to make everything better, and often go so far as to fix our kids problems for them when we can. We fight their battles and we defend them. Sometimes, we are so quick to look for a solution to a problem or to offer advice, that we forget to actually listen. We forget to hear what they are saying and listen to how they are feeling.
The next time your child has a problem, I challenge you to listen first. Hear what they have to say and validate their feelings. Don’t determine who or what is to blame, or seek a solution. Just listen.
Sometimes, this means letting your child vent in their own way, releasing their emotions. In listening, we can be the person that they turn to, someone who is there for them unconditionally. In listening, you show your child that they are deserving of your attention, that you trust them to deal with the issue, and that their feelings are real and valid.
My own son has a tendency to use his words with great expression, often throwing out comments or expressions that he wouldn’t choose to use with a level head. In the moment, I feel the need to correct him, or teach him, or even tell him how he should feel instead.
Who am I to tell him how to feel about something?
Remember this, just because something isn’t a big deal to you, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a big deal to your child.
Listen. Validate. Empathize. Connect.
A Listen First Culture
By setting the precedent that as a family you listen to one another and hear how each other are feeling without judgement, your kids will want to talk to you and express themselves. If something needs to be addressed, save it for when things have settled down. Kids have a hard time gaining perspective when emotions are heightened and your words and lessons will fall on deaf ears. Our children don’t always need someone to fix, sometimes they just need someone to listen, and this will improve your child’s behavior.
Sometimes, it is enough to just listen and connect.
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Photo Credit: Deposit Photos, mom with girl crying,unhappy preteen boy
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