Parenting: Talking Back or Communicating

According to ” Good communication skills are the foundation for building a great relationship with your kids. ” And I agree, a recent discussion with my ex-wife whom I have a great after divorce relationship with. She told me that my boys where talking back recently and more often. I asked here to explain how they were talking back and if she had any idea why? She explained that while her mother was watching them, she(her mother) asked the kids to clean up the mess in the living room(which obviously they made.) They did not refuse to clean it up but merely asked “why?” As a matter of demanded respect our elders, parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc… uphold this understanding that when they tell a child to do something, there is no question that the task be done. Is this right? I don’t know, my boys grandmother definitely felt this is an immutable law.

Our children face decisions and situations that we do not agree with. Yet it is not our choice which decisions or situations that shall face them. According to Table 339 of the U.S. Census Bureau in 2008, 168,055 reported cases of children ages 6-9 involved child abuse . Likewise 135,838 cases of children ages 10-13 and 121,164 cases of children ages 14-17 were also reported. 9.2 percent of all the cases reported for 2008 linked sexual abuse, 7.1 percent were emotional maltreatment. So statistically something is not working.

At some point children impose their declaration of independence, as history teaches us those who do not learn from the mistakes of others to repeat it. Children often rebel against their parents, regular communication will mostly likely make this uprising less imposing. Through communication your children are able to extract a point of view that best meets their immediate needs, as children stick with short-term goals. So if you better prepare your children by teaching better communication skills they my be less vulnerable to obscurities in their lives.

During this time of independence your child and one day my own shall face many choices; friends(not the TV show), relationships, sexual orientation, social status and god forbid drugs. When presented with these choices, you must ask yourself would I want my child to accept this because the person on the other end said “Because I said so!” granted they might phrase it differently. But as parents molding the way our child’s mind operates is our main goal, at least I think so.

So how do we address these issues with out getting ahead of ourselves. Easy communication its part of our everyday life we surround ourselves with devices that beg us to communicate with one another. Personally I have Facebook, Yahoo, Gmail, Flickr, MySpace, WordPress, Blogger, and load of others I can’t even think of at the moment. Not to mention each one of these accounts wants to communicate with the other to better represent you. Well given that while we may communicate our actions through these forums it is blatantly obvious that we don’t actually communicate.

My mother god bless her, has many of the same types of accounts as I do, do I talk to her in those forums, No! Instead I tend to speak with her in person, not that I enjoy spending time with my mother but I know that while she does have my email the only messages I get from her are usually chain messages which I refuse to resend and harass my friends with. This is not communicating.

When communicating with an adult there are signs that point out if there is actual communication going on or not. First of all eye contact, second when responding the other person addresses portions of your statements in their response. Likewise when communicating with a child you’re looking for the same characteristics of the conversation. If the child seems unresponsive either you are speaking to much or you’re not giving long enough pause between ideas to allow a response. It is key that the child repeats in their own words what they believe your trying to convey and why?

When a child obnoxious or not ask why? There are two ways to appease them. One an honest reply which does not demean their attempt to understand why they must do said task. Two my mother would probably kill me for this, but ask them why they think you are asking them to do said task. Often self-realization has a more stable impact on a child’s mind as opposed to a forced view. Also when speaking with your child it is better to sit, as it lowers your heart rate and leaves you in a calmer state.

So the next time your child confronts you about anything, make sure that your communicating with them. Because through communication we erase the boundaries that would otherwise might grow rapidly out of control.

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