How To …
How to Interact with modern day children
Educational Life discuss the ever growing subject about how to Interact with modern day children
I am ever grateful that my children talk to me. They tell me everything. Sometimes I think perhaps they tell me too much; things, perhaps as their mother, I shouldn’t really know.
But I am ever grateful that they do. I have just watched 13 Reasons Why with my daughter and the thing that struck me more than anything about it, was the lack of communication between those children/young adults and the adults in their lives, parents, teachers, authority figures.
With all the distractions in the world, with everything that is going on how do we interact with our children?
When they are babies
Talk to them tell them what you are doing and why.
Cuddle them! You can never cuddle your baby too much.
Stay in contact, continue to hold hands, kiss and cuddle – in these early days these actions are as important as words.
Turn distractions off so they can focus on you.
Give them your full attention, put your phone down.
When they are at school
Make the time to talk – even at bedtime (I know!) that is when they open up the most
Listen to the little things, to them it’s a big thing and one day it may be a big thing.
Turn off the TV, ban phones from the dinner table, play a game together, give them opportunities to talk.
Ask questions – but be specific
Give them respect
Keep up the cuddles and contact
The teenage years
Keep that respect up it’s so important
Acknowledge the significance of anything they are telling you. To you it may sound silly but to them it could be the biggest thing in the world.
Give them opportunities to talk – don’t put words in their mouths.
They also need specific questions especially regarding school.
Reiterate their self-worth don’t belittle what they value.
Make a time when mobile phones/technology is not welcome, for example no phones at the dinner table.
Use your time driving to ask them how they are – if they begin to open up try not to show any shock to things you may not approve of. Take time to ensure your response is measured. They may test your boundaries and reactions.
Turn the TV off to make time to talk or watch a programme together that you can talk about.
Don’t forget to keep up the cuddles, sometimes that’s what they need instead of talking
Beyond the teenage years
Make yourself available to them
Keep in contact
Take up every opportunity they use to open up (even if it’s when they are drunk and they probably won’t really remember the next day, they will remember you were there for them)
Now they probably engulf you in a cuddle (mine does) but keep that contact up.
Remember: We need 4 hugs a day for survival. 8 hugs a day for maintenance. 12 hugs a day for growth.
We have just taken part in screen free week and this gave us the perfect opportunity to limit the distractions and make time to talk.
However, there are times when you can utilise today’s technology, send daily inspirational messages/quotes to your teenager, use it to remind them you Love them even if they won’t talk to you at that moment, they may not say it back but they will know you love them.