Note from the editor: We are SO excited to be featuring words from MASK – Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids. MASK seeks to engage, empower, and educate parents on real-life matters that affect their children every day. We can’t always know everything that is going on in our children’s lives, but we CAN do our best to find out. Check out MASK for some great materials, and enjoy an occasional article from Kimberly, the founder, here on Life360 Now!
Chatter That Matters
“How was your day?”
Does this sound familiar? Is this how your conversation goes with your child? Nine times out of ten, the responses we receive from our children have a lot more weight behind them. Kids’ lives are harder today than we can understand as parents. Technology, teen trends, stress, acceptance and social pressures can be overwhelming. Our kids are surrounded by all of these pressures 24/7, and as parents, we must remember they are not adults and they are often unequipped to handle these issues.
Sometimes children just need to be heard and want their feelings to be validated. How, when, and even where we talk with our children can make a huge difference. Setting quality time aside to reconnect and listen to what is going on in their world can have a huge impact on them.
I think we can vastly improve our connection with our children if we try to talk “with” them, rather than “at” them, which will help bring down the walls that sometimes stand between us. Recently, I was able to interview some students who have written for our magazine. During this interview, these high school students helped me understand that kids really do want to talk to their parents. However, they also expressed concern that if they shared some of the things they were going through with their parents, they might be judged, punished or criticized. Many of the students said their parents portrayed an image that they never made bad decisions growing up, so the students described feeling pressure to live up to that unrealistic (and probably false) image. As parents, we should be strong enough to admit to our kids that yes, we have make mistakes – that no one is perfect. By sharing our own mistakes with our children, we provide them with valuable, teachable moments. Our goal as parents is to help strengthen the decision-making skills of our children, not to make the decisions for them.
They grow up way too fast, so let’s do our job to teach them while they are still living with us.
To download conversation starters http://www.maskmatters.org/engage/at-home/for-parents.
MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids)
From the editor: Please make Kimberly feel welcomed here at Life360 Now! by leaving her some comments below. Also Check out www.MaskMatters.org for amazing support, great materials, and the beginning of a new chapter for you and your relationship with your kids!