This is for anyone who works with children...whether your own children or if you come along side parents who are looking for help in dealing with their children!
This thought came to me over the weekend when I was with my entire family, all in one spot!! Three children, their spouses and my seven sweet grandchildren. We were in Jacksonville, FL to participate in the '26.2 Run With Donna - Finish Cancer' Marathon.
There was the Fun Run, 5K, 13.1 mile 1/2 Marathon, 26.2 mile Full Marathon, and 26.2 mile Relay...something for everyone and everyone did something!! We were there to honor a dear friend who is a breast cancer survivor...my daughter-in-law's mother.
The grandbabies, ranging in age from 2 to 20, with an 8, 9, 10, 13 and 18 in between. (Picture)
Keeping communication lines open with each of these children and teaching in Middle School and High School has made me very aware of the value of genuinely listening to what our children have to say. Warning: Be careful, you may learn something from them!
It continues to amaze me how important it is to the child, to have one-on-one, positive, *'undivided attention', conversation, (synonyms: discussion, talk, chat, heart-to-heart, exchange, dialogue), with the caring adults in their lives. Children at every age...the very, very young right to our adult children!
*(You KNOW what I mean...have them put their phone, their games, the laptop all away and, as the good example you are, YOU DO THE SAME! And....turn off the TV! )
No matter the age of the child, invite them to come sit with you...at the table, under a tree, lunch at a restaurant, walk in the park....'I want to hear how your day went', 'How was the game?' etc." It doesn't matter how you phrase it, as long as you let them know you are delighted to spend time with them!!
Ask them how you can pray for them...and then ask them to pray for you It can be a precious moment.
Don't hesitate to say the words...'that is something I never thought of before' or 'what are your thoughts on this idea I have?'. 'I want to apologize, you were right' or perhaps, 'I was out of line to speak to you like that, I am so sorry', are two phrases that can make a world of difference in a conversation.
The most important, affirming words ever, are, 'I love you'. A child accepts correction much easier when they have seen your example and have been affirmed by you ...often.
Important lessons are taught in these few words...and they last a lifetime.
If you consistently listen well, make eye contact with the child and are relaxed and engaged in the conversation...wow...You Will Be a Star in Their Eyes!
Hint: Following up on a conversation you had with a child, after a day or so, literally blows them away!!
Solutions for me...
I love conversations on Skype, we read books and even put on plays together...me in Missouri and the family in North Carolina! Then there is always sitting with a cup of hot chocolate, in person, listening and talking one on one about...ANYTHING!
Well that is that for today! Hope all is well with you; drop me a line on email or in a comment if there is anything you would like to talk about...glenice