Photo by Tatiana Syrikova

We are living in a time when kids have gotten more intelligent and wiser beyond their years. However, there’s also a sad reality that children end up raising their parents. What is the right thing to do to make parents listen to their children?

Communication is one of the easiest and most challenging things, especially when making parents listen. It is a menial problem that builds and destroyed many relationships, including family. And as a parent, talking to your toddler is crucial in helping them develop listening ability. Of course, you would want them to listen to you because you believe it’s what they should do. But what about them? Have you ever considered listening when they wanted you to lend an ear?

There’s a children’s book perfect for teaching that. ‘The Song of Solomon the Snail’ is a book by Caroleann Rice that features a snail that goes along a singing journey. He teaches every reader how love is patient and kind. So by hearing his voice and remembering Solomon’s lessons, parents and children can learn from each other.

A struggle among families

The difficulty of communicating has plagued many families for centuries. Kids go through many phases at an early age, and seeing them try new things worry their parents. On the other hand, making your children listen to you is easier said than done. It may be a struggle, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to. Healthy communication is a two-way street; parents need to hear their children out, whether reasonable or not.

Kids may need to be younger to either read or understand this guide. Nevertheless, parents must take the time and put themselves in their shoes. Try to mimic their thought patterns and how they process what their parents tell them. If you value honesty and openness in a relationship, it should apply to your family the most. After all, your communication style with your child will affect others in the future.

When timing is everything

Children come to their parents with different needs. They either wanted emotional support or quality time. Children usually tune into what’s happening in the family and are wise enough to know what’s happening. Parents often need to remember they cannot fool their children easily, even though they manage to the first time.

When secrets and lies pile up one after another, a burst in the dam will soon occur. Adults typically think kids have no sense of timing, but sometimes they do.

The ‘I’ vs. ‘You’

When you conflict with your children, they typically point to you. They call you out for hurting their feelings and express how upset they are. But there’s one thing that you should recognize: it’s not that they believe that you’re entirely in the wrong. It’s more of them struggling to label their emotions accurately.

Even seasoned parents admit that healthy communication with their children takes a lifetime of trial and error. But if you’re raising a toddler, you might still have a chance to make things right. There’s still an opportunity to establish healthy boundaries and open communication with them. Recognize when your child is stating their arguments and identify any undertones they use. Children are more talented at being subtle than we realize.

Teach your child to tell apart when to use ‘I’ and ‘You’ when they want to express something to you. For example, ‘I’ can be used in statements that imply taking responsibility for one’s words and actions. Allow your children to recognize their emotions and where they’re coming from. Rather than using ‘you,’ let them know it only leads to one-sided arguments. Your children won’t be able to express themselves adequately, and you won’t be able to listen to them that well.

When you’re not the mind reader

Parents are often the ones who have to do the active listening part, especially when they’re talking to a child. In that case, be as vocal to them as possible. Tell them what you need to hear, and allow them to vent everything they’ve been holding in. It’s okay to feel clueless about what your child feels occasionally.

Every day spent with your child is always a new opportunity for you to nurture a healthy relationship. Because when parents listen to their children with intention, they can communicate effectively. And by actively practicing this, they will become wiser and better adults.

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