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Chatter that Matters

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?”

“Fine.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

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.

Kimberly Cabral

Founder/Publisher

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!

18 Responses to “Chatter that Matters”

    • Kimberly Cabral

      It is so important. We talk to so many teens and they just feel lectured. They want and need a platform, especially with there family to share there life.

      Reply
  1. Jacob LaFountaine

    I like the idea as long as you already set up the boundaries that you are parents and the authority figure in the relationship

    Reply
    • glennjohn

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  2. Donna

    Lecturing never seems to work, but some issues are so important to discuss. We just need to find ways to talk to our children so that they listen. We should not talk down to them, but we are not their friend either. There needs to be some balance. Sometimes, this is not easy, but when one technique fails, we should try another.

    Reply
    • Life360

      I have found that asking open-ended questions and leading their thoughts sometimes helps. This allows them to come up with their own ideas and opinions, giving them the control (which is usually the issue with lecturing), but also having a strong influence over their thoughts.

      Reply
    • Kimberly

      Love that Donna. Sometimes as parents we just don't know how to bring up the conversations. We believe at MASK that is so important that we have in our magazine "conversation starters" every issue. My advise is to never give up on asking, talking…

      Reply
    • fraxel Sydney

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  3. Adele

    I think it helps to make sure to actually listen to what your children are saying, so that they feel that their ideas are important and that you respect them. At the same time, there are topics that need to be talked about, perhaps things they might not want to hear. You are the parent and need to have the final say when it comes to school-age children.

    Reply
  4. @zoeybear20

    That's how the conversations used to go when I was young. I do think setting aside some quality time with no distractions is a good idea. It lets them know you think they are important and that will hopefully make the bond between the two of you stronger.

    Reply
    • Kimberly

      So true! Sometimes it takes us to "get uncomfortable too". But the closer we can learn their world..learn how they talk…the closer we can get to understanding…which in turn will open up the conversations.

      Reply
  5. Rob

    Good thoughts. We have found taking our kids on dates with us as parents opens up the communication lines.

    Reply
  6. Mary Dailey

    I found that asking them a bunch of questions when they first get home from school never worked. If they had a bad day, they have to have time to relax a little in the comfort of their own home, before they will eventually open up. If you can tell something is wrong, give them a little time to deal with it and then later in the evening try to open up a conversation with them.

    Reply
  7. Rosa C.

    I've been lucky to have a great relationship with my parents growing up, and I think a large part of that is because they always made me feel respected and genuinely cared for during our conversations. Opening yourself up to your kid first is also a good way to approach them, at the same time being careful not to overload them with questions and pressure to talk.

    Reply

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