When you see that your child could use some advice, how do you get them to be receptive to you? Are they eager to hear what you have to say? Or do they put up walls and shut down, or go immediately into defending themselves? This is actually a very natural response, when confronted about something that isn’t working out.
You will find that your child will be more receptive if you approach them in a way that doesn’t put them in defense mode and instead will get them to be more receptive to you through listening and sharing with you. (no more eye rolls!)
How do you do that?
Start by asking them if they would be open to hearing from you. It’s okay if they aren’t and there isn’t much point in trying to force it. They aren’t going to engage with you. But by asking their permission, you demonstrate that you honor them and value where they are at. It might sound something like:
“I see that things aren’t going so well. I wonder if it would be okay for us to talk about it. "Would you like to look at this together to see how you can work it out?"
Now your child gets to be in control, and they are not being forced to hear you out.
Next, you can empower them to be more responsive if you don’t take an approach that is going to tell the child what they should do. No one likes to be told what to do.
There are 2 ways you can approach this:
“Here’s something that I tried and it worked for me.I wonder if this would be helpful to you?”
“I have found that when I try THIS it worked well for me. What do you think?”
“What would have been a different way of doing/saying/reacting?”
“What would you have liked to have been the outcome/happened?”
“Is there something that you discovered through this?”
Finally, ask them what action they would like to take if needed. If they need some help coming up with some strategies, offer some ideas, like:
“I wonder what would happen if…?”
“What do you think about this idea?”
When your child can be the one who decides the next step, they feel empowered and confident in knowing that they handled the situation. They will learn to use these strategies in the future and be grateful to have a parent who cares about them in a loving and caring way. They may even come to you the next time they need help.
Because these steps are so empowering, I have no doubt that they would also work with friends, co-workers and partners.
Mary shares her desire to create different possibilities for families and individuals who are looking to live a more conscious and aware lifestyle. BE YOU Parenting is for parents who want to BE all that they truly BE and to allow their kids the same privilege.