Whether the child is 2 or 17 years old, the worst parenting error a parent can make with their child is not actively listening to what you are trying to tell us. Although at first glance it may seem obvious or even easy to do, you would be surprised to know how many adults do not really do it.
The 20 things you should stop to hear from a child
Listen to the words you use
If you are talking about a subject and you see that the child deviates, be sure to return to the subject again, but the little one will learn that he can distract his parents by saying random things. Repeated words or phrases are signs that a child is struggling in an area of his thinking because something is not clear. Wait until he puts his ideas in order and redirects the conversation where he had been.
Listen to the whole story
Do not interrupt the child's explanations. In the same way that an adult does not like to be cut or interrupted by a child, we should not do the same with them. Children learn more from what a father does instead of what a father says. Actions speak louder than words.
Listen to your body language
One of the best indicators of what is happening to a child is their body language. In many ways, a child has not mastered control of his body, so they often send subtle (and not so subtle) messages because of the way they move. This may reveal insecurities, uncertainties or tensions. Don't ask him to change his body expression, help him solve the underlying problem.
Listen to your emotions
For a child, anger is an emotion of taking action violently. It is easier for them to react with anger to express things like loneliness, anxiety, guilt, shame, sadness, frustration, disappointment, jealousy, pain, worry, fear and shame. Look behind the anger to see what could be happening inside the child. Often, they are not able to express the right emotion for what they are feeling, since they are still learning how to do it. Proper modeling of parents is essential.
Listen to your point of view
Children formulate their point of view based on their experiences. They do not have the experience of adults and should not be expected to understand things as an adult. This is a teaching moment, where parents can share how their experience has shaped their opinion. Children like stories, especially those about their parents.
Listen to what your limits are
When the child tells you that he doesn't want to talk anymore, he attends and learns to give him a rest. The little ones may need some time to process what has already been said before they can respond more. This gives the child time to catch up and reconsider their logic.
Listen to your logic
Many times it seems to us that the logic of a child is meaningless, but we must put ourselves in his place, try to put ourselves in his perspective through his age and knowledge. Proper correction requires the parents' understanding of the child's point of view without precipitating conclusions or making assumptions. It can take a long time to listen fully and counter its logic in a loving way, but it is worth it. The end result will be an adult who will be able to articulate a point of view in a clear and concise way.
Listen to your memory of events
Discussing with a child about what happened or did not happen long ago is a waste of time and energy. Yes, a child may misunderstand a situation, but it will not change his point of view, even if we say it as active or passive. We must listen and ask questions about your memory of the event before offering another perspective. They will be much more willing to see things differently if the approach is done carefully and with respect.
Listen to your stressors
What stresses the child most of the time seems irrelevant or simply "nonsense." But a child's stress should not be minimized or turned into a joke. Your stress can reveal the feeling of insecurity, inadequacy, fear, guilt or shame. Recognizing the child's anxiety helps them conquer it.
Listen to your requests
Most of the time what our children ask for is a bit of our time. They want some individual attention and to spend more time with parents. Do not discard a child's request; It is a treasure and often a model on the best way to reach them.
Listen to your challenge
A challenge can be the way to test a limit or a norm, to see if the father will be consistent with the child. The repeated challenge on the same thing could be a "route of exploration" of a much broader subject. Abuse and trauma are two main reasons children tend to act inappropriately. The abuse of a child can be physical, emotional, mental or verbal. This should be explored with a professional.
Listen to his silence
Sometimes a child stops talking because he doesn't feel heard. Frequently, he has tried to give an explanation only to be cut or minimized by his father or mother. After a period of time, the child will stop talking about things with them. This is dangerous because your logic is not mature, so the conclusions you draw can be very destructive. If a child does not want to talk to one (or both) of the parents, there is a problem.
Listen to your bad mood
Not all mood swings are hormonal; Sometimes it is an indication of depression, suppressed anger, or anxiety. Look for patterns in mood swings such as frequency, time of day, activity level, diet, friends or at school. A regular pattern could mean an underlying problem. Do not ignore this or be indifferent, things could get worse if it is not handled immediately.
Listen to your hormones
Depending on the child's age, hormones can be a very important factor in radical mood swings and outbursts of anger. It's hard to remember how crazy a person can feel when hormones are out of control. For some teenagers this could be a daily problem. Do not react to his emotional outburst, try first to put yourself in his place.
Listen to your apology
Once a child has apologized for a bad action, the issue should be put aside and not constantly remembered. We must believe them when they apologize. The best people to have faith in a child are their parents. After the problem has been resolved, go ahead and don't bring it back.
Listen to your art / music
Art and music are a reflection of how a person sees the world. It is not always about the letters, although sometimes it is. Rather, pay attention to the rhythm, the general rhythm, and the feeling that inspires one. The same goes for art, they focus on colors, composition style and overall impression. These are windows in the soul of a child.
Listen to your failures
Childhood is the perfect time to make mistakes. The consequences are much less serious than making the same mistake in adulthood. The lack of a child is not an indication that they will have a fight for life. If the incident is handled properly, it can be a learning experience rather than a source of inadequacy.
Listen to their insecurities
Insecurities can come from trauma, a feeling of little value, harassment or intimidation. When talking about some insecurity, we should ask the child where he got that idea. Then counteract your negative thinking with the truth. Have the courage to face someone who could be feeding the child's insecurity, even if it is not intentional.
Listen to your fears
Being afraid is normal and healthy, but being afraid could be an indication of anxiety or stress. Unrecognized, these fears could manifest in obsessive behaviors that could be very difficult to overcome in adulthood. Do not rule out or underestimate fear. Go along with them with a story of someone who overcame a similar problem.
Listen to your dreams
Children have crazy and unrealistic dreams, as you wish to become a superhero, etc. But these dreams are a vision of their desire to help others, to be competitive or even to be recognized. Do not crush your dreams. Help them realize this in a more comprehensive and practical way.