We always try to make our children listen to us. We want them to grow up as rule-followers, not hell-makers. We want them to obey their elders, not disrespect them. We want them to do their duties to their family and the society, not be an outcast. We want them to fit into various molds. But how often do you ask them what they want to do? Do you know what ticks and irks them? Do you know what your kids’ aspirations are? Do you listen to your kid wholeheartedly?
The so-called Gen Z population suffers from more mental health disorders than any other population. They are born in the era of pandemics, dynamic political shifts, climate catastrophe and technological revolution. They talk a different language than the rest of us. There is very little similarity between them and us. But that is not a reason to not listen. Listening is important to make your kids feel accepted. Listening is important to make them understand that they are an integral part of your life. Moreover, listening is important to heal the wounds created due to conflicting interests and opinions. So, how can we listen to our kids?
Listen and Empathize
The first order of the business is to empathize with your kids. Their best friend is not talking to them? They are facing difficulty keeping up with the school lessons? They did not have a good time at the school picnic? These issues might be mundane compared to what you go through in your everyday life. But you were a kid once too. You might have faced similar situations. So, channel that emotions and empathize with them.
Listen and Accept your mistakes
Sometimes, the opinions of the kid might be different from yours. It might make you uncomfortable to hear a different point of view from your child. It might even make you realize that you are wrong. Even if this is the scenario, it is important to keep your pride aside and listen for personal growth as an individual and parent.
Listen and React Later
Imagine you caught your kid drawing on the walls of your living room. It is easy to assume what their reasons could be and react furiously. But first, ask them the reason for their doing. Reflect them back. Give your opinion afterwards. The kid would feel listened to and might even understand their wrong doing.
Listen and Carpe diem
When you seize your day to live the fullest, it is important to make the kids feel involved in your life too. They might be having a tough time but chose not to share it with you due to your busy schedule. Keep some time apart for them. Make your kid your priority. Give them your complete attention.
Listen and Be Patient
Communication is not always easy. What if your kid is getting bullied at school? The kid might take some time to tell you what is troubling them. Be patient with them. There are loads of emotions going through their mind at the time. Do not force them to speak. They might need some time to process it all so that they could talk with you. Give them space when required.