The answer that resolves most questions has this common element called communication. While I basically consider myself an introvert, I’m pretty much a non-mystery to my friends and family. I have thoughts that I like to share. Sometimes I want to convince people, other times I want to see where I may be wrong, so I don’t continue to be a fool. The result is always enlightenment and better understanding because communication is a two-way street that actually takes you somewhere.
A form of communication that I’m not a big fan of are bumper stickers, or political yard signs supporting one candidate or cause over another. The reason I don’t like them is because there is no conversation on the matter, no back and forth on the positives and negatives of any topic. In other words, bumper stickers say, “I’m putting forth my views, but I don’t have to validate them or hear your side.” That’s why I consider bumper stickers, etc., as a one-way street called ‘Shouting Place’ that will only take you in one direction.
Those that are silent in discussion are giving up their voice and can be misunderstood. Children can also be misunderstood if not taught to communicate via speaking and listening. Speaking and listening are the east and west of a two way street, therefore, your household should not reside on “Shouting Place”. Instead, live openly on the “Avenue of Communication”!
So back to the kids! How well do you know them? Here are some sample questions for a 5 - 6 year old:
- Do you know their favorite color?
- What is the name of their best friend?
- What makes them happy or sad?
- Do they like school?
- What animal would they choose to be, and why?
- Do they know their address and your phone number?
- When, what, where, how, who…..
If their teacher knows these answers better than you, you need to communicate with your children a little more.
Knowing your children is critical to helping them through troubles and life. Asking questions stimulates their brain even if they say “I don’t know”. It also lets them know you are interested in them which may be the most important reason of all!
What street do you live on? ‘Shouting Place’ or the ‘Avenue of Communication’?
The older your kids get, the questions may become more complicated or probing and you won’t always get an encouraging or open response. Back off when they appear annoyed or uncomfortable. Come back later when their vibe is a little more approachable. That’s when the “Avenue of Communication” will really work. Never stop the communication!
Have I told you anything you don’t already know? Most likely NOT! But what I needed as a dad was a reminder.
THIS IS YOUR REMINDER TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILDREN!