How to Understand Your Child’s World (PBTR Part 6) – ETB #120

Have you ever felt like you’re trying so hard but you’re losing the battle to talk to your kids? First, I want to tell you that is a defeatist mindset and I invite you to change the way that you look at the situation. There are things you can do! Second, there are so many forces out there who are against you and trying to speak into your child’s life. Don’t give up! You have to learn how to understand your child’s world and have the hard conversations in order to develop a strong relationship with your child.

How to Understand Your Child's World - ETB #120

In this sixth episode in a series about Parenting Beyond the Rules, I want to give you some suggestions for how to understand your child’s world. Here are some things that you can do and pay attention to:

Understand that children don’t know what is normal. Their brains are maturing and their hormones are raging. You as the adult have way more miles in life and a lot more experience.

Learn to see life from your child’s lens. A child is a sponge that soaks up everything. Anything is possible to them. Keep yourself from constantly telling them that they are wrong and their ideas won’t work. Give them a chance to learn and makes mistakes rather than jumping straight to being the reality checker.

Teach your kids to be others aware. We are naturally self-aware and a little selfish. Help your kids see how their actions might hurt another person.

Observe what your kids say and think. Don’t be quick to pounce on them when their words come out unfiltered. Take time to get to the root of what they said and why. Help them process what’s in their hearts.

Be their biggest cheerleader. You are there to listen and walk beside them rather than dictate to them.

Keep your finger on the pulse of their friends. Have a home where the kids want to hang out so you can see how your kids interact with other kids, but also what their friends are like. You’ll have the opportunity to help your child correct their behavior as well as see which kids might be a poor influence on your kids.

Listen to your gut. I tell my kids that I’m not going to catch everything that they do, but God knows their actions. Sometimes God gives also gives you as the parent intuition and nudges from the Holy Spirit to know that something is not right with your kids. Follow that.

Don’t marginalize, criticize, or minimize. Don’t let the first thing you do be to criticize your kids. Correction has a time and a place. Take time to step into their shoes and listen. Find times and places to have deep conversations, but be sure to ask God for wisdom.

Pay attention to your child’s body language. Are they having mood swings? Are they eating well? Are they sleeping well? Is there something else going on that might be contributing to your child having a rough day?

Encourage your kids. You could leave them notes or send them text messages. Remember that your job as a parent doesn’t end once your child becomes an adult. Your role just changes. Continue to speak life to them. Show them that you believe in them, you trust them, and you respect them.

Talk to your kids about your family values. What makes your child unique and special to your family? What does your family stand for?

I hope you found these suggestions for how to understand your child’s world helpful. Which one will you start implementing first?

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How to Understand Your Child\'s World (PBTR Part 6) - ETB #120