We want to be close to our kids and we want our kids to feel comfortable talking to us.
Here’s how some parents do it. They open up the conversation with something that sounds like: “Is everything ok? What’s wrong? What’s bothering you?”
While this approach may work, it doesn’t always yield the most desired results.
Other parents take it one step further by setting up an “environment”. They may take the child to the park or out to eat. They carve out a moment in time during which their child has their undivided attention, and then they begin the conversation.
This approach definitely works sometimes, but many times the work must begin way before the preparations for that specific conversation.
By taking a keen interest in your child’s life, you are providing him with the knowledge that his parent cares about him, is thinking of him, and is a safe, caring address to turn to when he is in need of assistance and guidance.
Your six year old mentions by supper that his friend is having a birthday party in school the next day. The next day as soon as you see him after school, you ask him how the party was? This will plant a seed in this little boy’s heart that you care about him and want to be part of his life.
Your thirteen year old is under stress because of a math test the next day. The next day as soon as you see her after school, you ask her how she did on the test? This will let your daughter know that you are part of her life and care deeply about the things that are important to her.
When we show interest in our children’s lives we are telling their little hearts that their parents care about them and that they are an important part in your life.
If you can provide that feeling for your child, your child will inevitably turn to you when seeking clarity and direction. Try it, let me know how it goes.