|Talk to me DAD!!!|
Kids Will Talk If You Listen
From birth until about 5 years old parents typically know what to expect from their children. They have daily routines and habits that are easy to predict. From the time they are born, they begin developing their personality and how they respond in relation to this world. They have certain times where they want to eat. Then there are other times where they only want to be held. They even make demands on their activity/play time. They may initially when to sit on your lap and coo at your smile, but as they get stronger they want to stand on their legs and jump on your lap. The growth pattern is always evolving. Although their routine may be constant, the way they respond to life begins to change as they develop.
Babies come out of the womb communicating. The come out crying to let you know they are cold. I think that’s why the doctors hurry to bundle them up. Once in this world, they still desire to be close and connected with the heartbeat they grew to know and love as they developed. Mom’s arms become their security blanket. The safest place to be is in the arms of your mother. This is the same safe place children as they become older need to feel safe. I believe the warmth of your parents arms will never grow cold. As children become older and hurt themselves when they fall, it is usually a parents embrace that helps to sooth any pain. Although, they may still hurt, your touch communicates safety and reassurance. So why does that end as they get older?
I know the teenage years are the most challenging years to understand. Really kids don’t understand it themselves. They always think they know what they want until they see something else that they find interesting. They sell us on ideas that they feel are their life callings only to find out their life has called something different. Instead of exploring life in the form of objects, the exploration becomes engulfed in the sentiment of relationships. The value of life is placed strongly in the perception of how others may view them. Their identity becomes wrapped around what seems to draw the most attention.
We all have come to a point of asking “Who am I?” This is a critical question that bases our identity. Becomes get too worried as their kids begin exploring new hair trends. Parents come home from work to find their child has decided to change the way they talk. They begin taking on patterns from their friends or other family members. You never know what to expect when it comes to predicting the next thing from your children. Imagine, how frustrating it becomes not knowing your identity as an adult and compare that with your children. The difference when them and adults are they have more time to grow, live, and recover from mistakes. They don’t have any responsibilities they are held accountable for other than daily chores and school. However, as adults our decisions have an umbrella effect on our families.
I believe exploration is a natural part of life. Children don’t like to feel compartmentalized. They want to know and understand how and why things work. As they become early adolescents they want to know how they fit it the scheme of life. They emotions are very sensitive and fragile. You can assure that an extremely sensitive person will reside in kids termed as bullies. We have the potential to spoil the emotional growth of our children when we don’t it make it safe for our boys to cry. If they cry, they are referenced as girls, instead of being taught the masculinity of showing healthy emotions. I always say, I would rather my son cry than go around hitting others or damaging property.
It is important that children learn to properly express emotions. When they are taught how to feel which contradicts what their thoughts are engaging, they bottle away their feelings. They learn to mask and play the gamut of controlling emotions for the sake of pleasing others. Could you imagine never being allowed to show emotion? Or getting upset and being told you can’t speak about your feelings. As disciplinarians, we must remember to uphold the freedom of emotion to keep the gates of communication open.
I believe many families struggle with communication because wellbeing has been replaced by neglected emotions. I don’t believe parents intend on neglecting their child’s emotions, but the rages of life demands cause us to change the focus of attention to other important matters. If you have a child that takes time to express their feelings, you as their parent must offer a space to open the channels of talking. I call it Mommy and You time. No phones, no interruptions from other children, no television, just you and your undivided attention.