Help Me To Hear You Better
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
The space between is what I like to call the middle and early high school years where our children are trying to figure it all out. They have some basis for making decisions. They mostly know right from wrong, but their frontal lobes are far from developed and we often assume a level of awareness that is just not there yet. This is especially true if your children have developed early, and you are looking at a man or woman’s body standing in front of you. They say so many things that make them seem so astute that we can forget that they are still very much figuring it all out.
Our job as parents is to be patient. This is their time to make all of their mistakes before you close the door of their college dorm and drive home without them. You can’t protect them from life, but you can certainly guide them through it. Many parents complain that their children don’t talk to them, but my first question is can they. The parents will say of course, I ask them questions and they won’t even answer me. Well, when are you asking? Did you give them a minute to unwind after school before you began peppering them with questions? Try waiting for them to come to you after a snack and some time to unwind. What happens when they confide in you? Do you overreact? Do you go straight into lecture mode or tell them they can no longer see that friend that they told you made a poor choice? Did you fail the test that they just gave you? The poor choice was there’s or one they plan to make soon.
Parents listen to you children. They have so much to say. I can’t stop them from talking. Ask what they think about things and listen. Don’t judge them by your own actions or inactions at their age. Don’t judge them according to their siblings. Don’t assume that they know or that they don’t. Parents listen to your children. They have something to say.