Parents: When Talking Tough Subjects With Kids, Be a Better Listener
Anxious parents tend to lecture when conversing with their kids about topics like drugs and sex. Therapist Holly Brown says it's better to open your ears a little.
Author and therapist Holly Brown writes that it's easier for anxious parents to resort to long, boring discourses on tough topics rather than fostering conversation. Even though you don't want your child to think they have free rein, it's vital that an atmosphere of mutual respect manifests between you. Often times that means taking the first step:
"Sometimes when parents feel they’re on shaky ground (for example, they want to talk to their kids about drugs but they don’t want to be asked about their own drug past), they tend to give lectures. They don’t leave gaps in the conversation. They don’t invite questions.
But it’s important that your child feels you’re there to listen. You need to get a sense of their world view before you try to impose your own on them."
The solution is to be a better listener and allow for a two-way flow of conversation. You have to respect your child even if you don't agree with their reasoning because to establish a disrespectful rapport is to ensure contention. And more often than not, contention will cause your kid to shut down rather than open up.
Take a look at Brown's full article linked below and let us know what you think of her take.
Read more at Psychcentral
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