Listening More

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wouldn't it be great if you could just look at your kids and read them as if they were a book? What if there were no secrets? What if there was an air of constant respect? What if our kids never did anything to freak us out? That would be great—right?

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Parenting certainly has amazing aspects to it, full of rewards, joys, and laughter. However, it's not an easy thing. No one ever created the perfect manual telling us the secret. Kids ARE their own people, they have their own minds, and they certainly, at some point, make their own choices. The only real control we have over them is…well…none. We can TRY to control our kids, but they may end up resenting us in the long haul. I know plenty of people, whose parents attempted the control thing, and in the end, the kids only rebelled, and a wedge was created.

I am no parenting expert. I believe there are rules that need to be followed. There are boundaries that need to be set for our kids' safety. And there are hard conversations that need to be had throughout parenting. However, the greatest way to do this is to love our kids. Not only love them, but LISTEN to them. It's extremely important to let them know that we care about how they feel. And we truly should.

Think back on the times where you felt you were not heard. Do you remember when you had a feeling that meant a great deal to you, but not to someone else? I think often times as parents, we can get too much on the "boss" track, that it's easy to forget to "listen" to our kids. If this is consistently the case, then our kids will want to turn to someone who DOES "listen" to them, whether online or in person. And they may not know of the danger they put themselves in.

I challenge you today to pay attention to what is going on with your kids. Have dinner with them and their friends. Really take some time and HEAR what they are saying since we can't read them like we would sometimes like. If you have concerns about some of the activities they're participating in or you think they may be participating in, we're here to help. McGruff Safeguard wants to help you to initiate conversation. Talk to you kids. Create some space and get to know where they are today.

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posted by Nick Carter at 12:41 PM Link to this Article


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