Hear your kids out

If communication seems awkward with your kids, maybe it’s because they feel you’re too judgmental. Try using one of the following phrases when you feel a judgmental comment coming on:

• ”Tell me more about that.” Children who are invited to explain further feel that they are being heard.

• “You’ve sure had a difficult day.” While the two of you might not agree as to whose fault it is that the day was bad, you can find common ground in this statement.

• “I’m sorry you had to go through that.” This covers friendship issues, impossible tests, and missing the bus. It allows you to be sympathetic.

• “Is there any way I can help?” You may be able to think of three things you can do right off the bat, but they may not be the things your child needs.  

by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, winner of the General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association.                    

Take a look at At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home—read a sample issue.   We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out  monthly discussion guides.

And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.