christian coaching, counseling, parent coaching, parenting, Strong Willed Child

Creating an atmosphere of communication with your children

I believe one key to having well adjusted children is open and honest communication. I believe that parents should be the ones to start the difficult conversations. The reason for this is once you bring a topic out into the open your child is aware that they can come to you later for more information. If there are topics you are afraid to discuss then learn to become comfortable. Start by reading books about the dreaded topic then discuss it with friends. Once you have overcome those hurdles you can begin the discussion with your children. Another important area to note is, start the conversations younger rather than later, when they are older. Believe it or not we can set the foundation for many BIG topics while a child is young and then build on that foundation as they grow. Some parents wait until a child has formed their opinion before even beginning the discussion. Yes, as parents we have the ability to persuade our children but the longer we wait the less persuasion we have. I remember hearing (unsure of it’s accuracy) but most children begin to seal their worldview by the age of 13 and at that point the parent’s role shifts to more of an advisor in their child’s life. Yes, you are still their parent but once they enter their teenage years, our role as their parent really begins to shift whether we want to realize it or not. The transition to advisor progresses through out the teenage years. This has caused me to take seriously my role in educating my children and pouring as much as I can into them during those formative years, before the door begins to close. A great way to have discussions is as a family or one-on-one. My kids love time alone with mom or dad. We have great talks during this time. Discussions should be filled with thought provoking questions and education. We often forget each child has free will and control is not the solution. Yes, we should have boundaries to keep our child safe but the reality is that at any moment they can climb the fence (the boundary) and explore the world outside. Encourage your child to be a steward of their mind and their life. When they develop the process of stewarding their own life it becomes less about whether mom or dad see but more about I do not want (fill in the blank) in my life. They make the decision about placing things in their life or being in certain situations based on how they want to live. The reality is we can not watch our children 24/7 they have to develop their own convictions and sensitivity to the Holy Sprirts leading in their life. I know for many people this is scary or a struggle. I encourage you to seek out help and develop a community of people to do life with. We can not live successfully alone! Blessings.

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