So you don’t need to talk to your children because you currently don’t need to address, drugs, sex, social media, bullying or homework. So why talk to them if you don’t have anything serious to talk to them about? I’ll tell you why; if you don’t have good conversations with your children that aren’t related to anything but simple life they more than likely won’t be open or willing to talk with you about the “serious” stuff.
You can’t just assume that you need to only talk to your kids about the stuff that will keep them safe. You need to talk to them about their day, their friends, what gets them mad, why are they mad, why are they and their friend having a dispute, why do they like to wear certain clothes, what do they think would make you a better parent, what do they think would make getting out the door in the morning an easier process for them AND you! Discuss how they can keep their room organized, what will it take for them to be responsible for their own stuff. There are so many things that you can talk about.
So many times kids just open up to me when I share a simple memory of my childhood; whether it is about the dentist and my fears of the dentist that I still have to this day, first day of school, or my feelings on school and how much I love it. I actually have kids ask me to tell them more stories about my childhood. Do you know what that has done for me? It has opened up some great conversations that I’ve had with kids that have been a two way street. I express my opinions to them and they feel safe in sharing their opinions with me. We laugh, cry, and even get mad together. I’ve been super lucky in that when I talk to kids I have a natural ability to listen to them as a peer, not as an adult or a child. I don’t talk down to them, I’m not silly when they share with me, and I’m genuinely interested, I don’t feign interest; they can spot that a mile away, and hate being patronized.
My suggestion to any parent is to talk to your kids about the mundane, the banal, the grocery shopping and what a pain it is or joy of it. Expressing gratitude that they are in your life even if they can be a pain. You can’t learn how to talk to your kids you just need to talk to them like they are your peer, probably after the age of 3 years old. Tell them your concerns for them and for yourself, express weaknesses you have, possibly even your insecurity in being able to talk tho them.
Life isn’t just about school, work, and sports. It is about so much more. It is for your kids too. Trust me, once you open your heart to the simple conversations early in life the hard conversations will be easier.