Here are some more tips Imagine Hope is offering parents to better connect with your children and teens:
- Say "I know" rather than "it's okay" when your child is upset. This makes them feel like you are empathizing with them rather than telling them they shouldn't be upset.
- Dig deeper. Ask them how a situation made them feel and how it affected them.
- Become familiar with the things your child is interested in. It will give you more topics to talk about and make them feel more understood.
- Be honest with them.
- Don't make them carry too much adult information. Have good boundaries for how much you share.
- Allow it to be ok for them to disagree with you. It doesn't mean they always get their way, but it helps them learn that their opinion is okay and you can agree to disagree.
- Avoid getting defensive. It will tell them you aren't going to listen to them, and they might stop sharing.
I am looking forward to reading Joleen's tips tomorrow. Take care!
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.