Artwork for podcast How Not to Screw Up Your Kids
We Still Need to Talk
Episode 9713th April 2023 • How Not to Screw Up Your Kids • Dr Maryhan
00:00:00 00:33:11

Share Episode

Shownotes

Repetition is the mother of all learning, which is why this week I'm revisiting an important past episode.

Today’s episode “We Still Need To Talk’ is all about how we can have meaningful conversations with our children and teens. You know what I mean - conversations which are two-sided, you learn more than you teach, and you feel a connection. Whether that’s talking about big things such as sex, boyfriends and worries or everyday conversations about using their voice, kindness, compassion.

These conversations are probably more important, more impactful, and more character building for our children than any other conversations we have.

Here are the highlights:

(01:07) Pick your moments

(04:00) Chronological vs developmental age

(07:06) You have got to listen!

(08:54) Communication isn’t just words

(12:21) Leave judgment at the door

(15:52) Show empathy

(18:39) Look for opportunities to avoid parenting hell!

(21:33) Whatever you do, do it consistently

Purchase your ticket for the next 60-minutes with Dr Maryhan 'Preparing for Success; How to Help Your Child Set and Achieve Exam Goals' at 8pm GMT on the 7th of March.

 Watch the Bucket Emptying Episodes on Youtube

Join the How Not to Screw Up Your Kids Community and ask Dr Maryhan your parenting questions in the weekly Q&A, access a library of digital courses, watch live/recorded 60-minutes with Dr Maryhan at your convenience, and in February your children can attend online workshops too. All for just £1.79! (you can cancel at anytime).

To access the free resources mentioned in the episodes visit https://drmaryhan.com/library  

Join our campaign One Million Moments to reduce the number of children struggling with mental health challenges from 17% to 10% by 2025.

Transcripts

Unknown:

Hello, and welcome to the how not to screw up your

Unknown:

kids podcast. So pour yourself a cuppa, find a comfy seat, and

Unknown:

enjoy the conversation. This is episode 98. And today's episode

Unknown:

we still need to talk is a re introduction to a previous

Unknown:

episode that I have done, we need to talk. And I chose it for

Unknown:

two reasons. I think the first is, as I say, often repetition

Unknown:

is the mother of all learning. Sometimes we need to hear things

Unknown:

again and again. And I also think, actually probably one of

Unknown:

the bigger reasons why I think this episode is really important

Unknown:

to kind of listen to, again, with a fresh head and a fresh

Unknown:

perspective is that I've actually spoken to quite a lot

Unknown:

of adults probably over the last couple of weeks. And for

Unknown:

whatever reasons, the discussions have ended up

Unknown:

talking about childhood and childhood memories and childhood

Unknown:

experiences. And the key takeaway that I would say, from

Unknown:

the work that I do with families, is that there is so

Unknown:

much that comes with us into our adult life that is all about our

Unknown:

childhood, and the lack of communication that we had with

Unknown:

our parents, the stories and the narratives that we created in

Unknown:

our own mind. Because either we felt that it was a bit odd or

Unknown:

weird to think of those sorts of things in that way. And so we

Unknown:

didn't open up, we didn't talk to our parents, we then created

Unknown:

all sorts of stories that have had a profound impact on us as

Unknown:

adults, were some of the adults that I've spoken to, you are now

Unknown:

having to unpick and unlearn some strategies that they then

Unknown:

put in place as a result of these, this lack of

Unknown:

communication that are no longer serving them. So I'm not trying

Unknown:

to make a big gravitas about this, I'm not trying to layer on

Unknown:

another sort of aspect of guilt on parenting. But it's incumbent

Unknown:

on us as the adults and as the parent to keep that

Unknown:

communication open to keep asking our children questions to

Unknown:

keep checking in on them. Rather than feeling that we need to

Unknown:

have these big conversations and have either tick the box, we've

Unknown:

had that big conversation about sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Unknown:

And sort of like, rather than actually remembering that it's

Unknown:

in those small moments of connection, those small moments

Unknown:

where we're just checking in where we notice that what our

Unknown:

child says, is incongruent to their body language to their

Unknown:

tone to the day to day actions, and persevering with that

Unknown:

continuous dialogue, that continuous connection that

Unknown:

continuous. I'm here if you're not ready to talk yet, but know

Unknown:

that I'm available for you, is just so crucial. So if you've

Unknown:

not listened to this episode before, then obviously you're

Unknown:

listening to it with very fresh ears. If you've listened to this

Unknown:

episode before, I would really urge you to just be in it and

Unknown:

see what new things that you pick up. And just remember that

Unknown:

those small moments, probably at the least perfect time for us at

Unknown:

the time that we're probably juggling 1,000,001 Things are

Unknown:

probably the most opportune and when our children need us the

Unknown:

most. So I'm going to introduce this podcast again. So it's, you

Unknown:

know, we still need to talk, enjoy

Unknown:

Hello, and welcome to the how not to screw up your kids

Unknown:

podcast. So pour yourself a cuppa, find a comfy seat and

Unknown:

enjoy the conversation. This is episode 60. And today's episode

Unknown:

we need to talk is all about how we can have meaningful

Unknown:

conversations with our children and teens. You know what I mean?

Unknown:

Conversations which are two sided, you learn more than you

Unknown:

teach. And you feel a connection. Whether that's

Unknown:

talking about those big conversations on sex,

Unknown:

boyfriends, how babies happen, confident worries, or more day

Unknown:

to day conversations on kindness, compassion, empathy,

Unknown:

friendships, being true to themselves, using their voice

Unknown:

taking on new challenges. In fact, I'd say the second set of

Unknown:

conversations are probably more important, more impactful and

Unknown:

more character building for our children than those huge, huge,

Unknown:

bigger conversations. So how do we start these conversations?

Unknown:

What I have got eight tips for you today. But what I would say

Unknown:

is we do not stop them with we need to talk those four words

Unknown:

just fill anybody who hears them with complete fear and dread

Unknown:

that they're about to get told off or that it's going to be a

Unknown:

conversation about something they're going to feel super

Unknown:

uncomfortable with just

Unknown:

Think about sort of conversations that you might

Unknown:

have started that way with a partner, or a friend or even

Unknown:

your children. They're not a great set of forwards. So how do

Unknown:

we have these conversations, I'm going to talk you through my

Unknown:

eight, some eight tips that I've got. But also some notes at the

Unknown:

end, that might be particularly important. So the first one is,

Unknown:

we need to choose the right time and the right place. Sometimes

Unknown:

we have the what needs to happen these conversations, and we're

Unknown:

not necessarily in the right place, as in physical space,

Unknown:

we're not in a private place. And so that we might kind of

Unknown:

earmark a conversation with our children. But it's if we want to

Unknown:

have a two sided connected conversation, where your child

Unknown:

is imparting information to you in a way where they feel that

Unknown:

the environment is a trusted environment, that they can

Unknown:

really connect with you. That's just not going to happen if you

Unknown:

don't choose the right time, and also the right place. So we have

Unknown:

to be mindful of when the right time might be and listen out for

Unknown:

my notes at the end. Because there are some really important

Unknown:

things, what we think might be the right time, it may not be

Unknown:

the right time, and certainly not the right place for our

Unknown:

children. So we need to become a little bit more connected a

Unknown:

little bit more aware, around, when is the right time for my

Unknown:

child or my teenager, rather than actually, this is a

Unknown:

convenient gap in my day. And this seems to be the right time.

Unknown:

And sometimes that's not even just necessarily the right time

Unknown:

of day, it might actually be the right is about the right time in

Unknown:

that particular conversation. So for example, having a

Unknown:

conversation about sex or boyfriends, having that

Unknown:

conversation, immediately that you found out that they've got

Unknown:

feelings for a particular person may well be a really good time.

Unknown:

But it also might not be it's about reading the situation to

Unknown:

find out actually, right now is this the best opportunity to

Unknown:

have this conversation with my child, or am I better off

Unknown:

holding off and having that conversation later. So let's be

Unknown:

really mindful. And I can't tell you any hard fast rules

Unknown:

specifically around that in my notes afterwards, I will

Unknown:

certainly tell you some not good times, and not good places. But

Unknown:

we just need to be mindful that if we really want to have this

Unknown:

two way conversation, we need to choose the right time in the

Unknown:

right place. And my second point is we need to be sensitive to

Unknown:

the topic and our child or our teens developmental age. Now for

Unknown:

those of you who've been listening to the podcast

Unknown:

religiously, you'll know I talk a lot about this difference

Unknown:

between children's chronological age and their developmental age.

Unknown:

For those of you who may be listening for the first time or

Unknown:

need a bit of a recap, let me just explain. Because it's

Unknown:

super, super important when we're looking at doing anything

Unknown:

with our children or in terms of managing expectations or

Unknown:

anything like that. Our children have a chronological age, that's

Unknown:

the age that they were given by their birthday, the day, the

Unknown:

month, the year that they were born. But all children and

Unknown:

teenagers develop at different rates and different paces across

Unknown:

multiple areas of development, their social skills, their

Unknown:

intellectual skills, their communication, their language,

Unknown:

their physical development, their gross motor, their fine

Unknown:

motor, their emotional intelligence, there are a whole

Unknown:

host of different areas that our children and our teens

Unknown:

developing. So when we're talking, when I talk about

Unknown:

developmental age, this is much more, making sure that the topic

Unknown:

that I want her to have a conversation with my child about

Unknown:

is sensitive to where they're at developmentally. So I cannot say

Unknown:

to you, you need to be having a conversation with your child

Unknown:

about sex by eight years of age, because actually, different

Unknown:

children develop at different stages. You may have a child who

Unknown:

is a chronological age of eight, but their developmental age

Unknown:

around topics, for example, around sex, may well be that

Unknown:

they're a nine or a 10 year old in terms of the level of

Unknown:

maturity they have about grasping specific concepts, and

Unknown:

being able to understand how those relate. So when we want to

Unknown:

have some of these conversations, and of course, it

Unknown:

depends on what these meaningful conversations are going to be

Unknown:

whether it's around being true to themselves, or unkindness, is

Unknown:

going to be very different in terms of developmental age, to,

Unknown:

let's say, boyfriends, we can have conversations with our

Unknown:

children around kindness and being true to themselves when

Unknown:

they're really their developmental age is really

Unknown:

young, but but necessarily conversations about boyfriends

Unknown:

may be different. So we just need to be sensitive that the

Unknown:

conversation that we're going to be having with our child, the

Unknown:

topic needs to be appropriate for their developmental age. Now

Unknown:

that doesn't mean that we do not talk about sex or boyfriends

Unknown:

with children who were younger

Unknown:

563 we do but we are mindful that that conversation is an

Unknown:

appropriate to their developmental age. And then it's

Unknown:

a, it's this notion I talk a lot about drip feeding, we don't say

Unknown:

we need to talk, because that creates this fear and this dread

Unknown:

about this monumentally huge conversation that might result

Unknown:

in something really bad. Instead, we take opportunity. So

Unknown:

it's about being sensitive to the topic, and our child's

Unknown:

developmental age. So it's choosing the right time and

Unknown:

place, it's being sensitive to the topic and our children's

Unknown:

developmental age. The third one is, and I know this is this can

Unknown:

be really tough. So I'm saying this with love, we need to

Unknown:

really listen. And by this, I mean, we're listening not to be

Unknown:

able to offer some answers or a solution. But we should be

Unknown:

listening in such a way that we could not necessarily saying

Unknown:

that you shouldn't necessarily it depends on the conversation,

Unknown:

your child and the situation. But we should be able to

Unknown:

paraphrase back to our child every now and again, what I

Unknown:

think I'm hearing is that this matters to you. What I think I'm

Unknown:

hearing is that this makes you feel, whatever that is that we

Unknown:

are listening so well is this notion of active listening,

Unknown:

listening to understand, rather than listening to answer or to

Unknown:

respond, or to problem solve, it's really sitting there and

Unknown:

trying to really connect with how it's, you know, what are

Unknown:

what are our children actually saying to us? And when I've

Unknown:

talked about listening before, I'm talking about not just

Unknown:

listening with our ears, but listening with our eyes, when

Unknown:

our children talk about things? Does their body language match

Unknown:

that? Are they saying one thing, but their body language suggests

Unknown:

something else, or their facial expressions, is really listening

Unknown:

at every single thing that we can hear and see, so that we can

Unknown:

truly understand. So we can say things like, I hear you saying

Unknown:

this, but what I see in your face is something different. And

Unknown:

having that conversation. So it's about trying to listen to

Unknown:

understand, rather than listening for a solution, that's

Unknown:

my third tip, my fourth tip, and it goes back, this is the

Unknown:

slightly from the other way. So when I talk about really

Unknown:

listening, we're listening to what our children say, and we're

Unknown:

looking at their body language. The fourth one is about

Unknown:

communication isn't just what we say. It's our facial

Unknown:

expressions, our tone of voice and our body language. So this

Unknown:

is for us. This isn't about what listening to what it looks like

Unknown:

from our child's perspective. But communication, how do we

Unknown:

communicate, making sure that we're communicating in a way to

Unknown:

our child, that they can see that we are actively trying to

Unknown:

listen, not only with what we're saying, but with our facial

Unknown:

expressions, that our tone of voice is one where we're

Unknown:

interested, where we're trying to hear and understand what

Unknown:

we're trying to acknowledge and understand where they're coming

Unknown:

from, rather than a tone of voice. That might sound like

Unknown:

we're making a judgement or that we're lecturing to them. And

Unknown:

that our body language is an open rather than a defensive

Unknown:

body language. Now I get it, some of us naturally do sit with

Unknown:

our arms crossed. And this isn't about becoming paranoid about

Unknown:

how you sit. But it is asking yourself, if my child if I want

Unknown:

to have this two way conversation if I want to have a

Unknown:

meaningful conversation where my child feels, and my teen feels

Unknown:

that I'm here, and I really want to listen, and I really want to

Unknown:

understand, how does my communication look to them? Not

Unknown:

only what I'm saying, but am I using the right tone of voice?

Unknown:

Do I sound sincere? Am I having a facial expression? That

Unknown:

doesn't look like Oh, my goodness, me, I'm so shocked

Unknown:

that my child has just told me that they feel that way. And is

Unknown:

my body language one that is congruent to what I'm saying?

Unknown:

It's one that fits in with me saying I want to hear I want to

Unknown:

understand explain, or am I looking like a slightly judgy

Unknown:

parent. So this is something that we just need to practice it

Unknown:

quite often when we, in my view very much around when we

Unknown:

communicate to our children is I've talked about this before,

Unknown:

it's I don't, I don't think it's helpful to have a dynamic that

Unknown:

is I am the parent, I am the authority figure I am all

Unknown:

powerful or seeing or doing and do all this sort of subservient

Unknown:

child. And it's this if you do what I say, I think those

Unknown:

conversations that we should be having with our children need to

Unknown:

be much more almost a slightly sort of adult to adult. Now it

Unknown:

doesn't mean that we're expecting to have adult

Unknown:

conversations with our children. But it needs to be one where

Unknown:

there's a respectful dynamic of being able to communicate at a

Unknown:

level where we don't get into a power play. And that doesn't

Unknown:

mean that we lose all authority, we lose the ability to make very

Unknown:

clear and definitive statements to our

Unknown:

Children. But if we want to have meaningful conversations, we

Unknown:

have to shift that dynamic to say, actually, I'm here. And I

Unknown:

want to listen, and everything I'm doing and saying, not only

Unknown:

with what comes out of my mouth, but also in terms of my physical

Unknown:

stance is one that encourages a dialogue. So let's look at the

Unknown:

first four, before we go back before we go on to the next

Unknown:

four. So it's choosing the right time and place, pick those

Unknown:

moments, make sure that you're in the right place, be sensitive

Unknown:

to the topic and your child's developmental age, rather than

Unknown:

their chronological age, really, really listen, not to be able to

Unknown:

offer answers and solutions. But to truly understand, and

Unknown:

communication isn't just what we say, it's all of the other bits

Unknown:

in terms of our facial expressions, our tone of voice

Unknown:

and our body language. Number five, leave judgment at the

Unknown:

door, your job is to meet your child or your teen where they're

Unknown:

at their world is very different. It's hugely different

Unknown:

to the one you grew up in. So don't judge what you have not

Unknown:

yet yourself experienced. And I say this with love, because

Unknown:

there are so many things that in the work that I've done with

Unknown:

families, that parents here that causes them great angst, great

Unknown:

worry, great shock, possibly disappointment, sloth, possibly

Unknown:

embarrassment, possible shame, because they don't always take a

Unknown:

step back and try and see, okay, I'm trying to see this in the

Unknown:

context of the child of my child and the world that they're

Unknown:

currently living in operating in, rather than the world that I

Unknown:

lived and operated within, and it just changed monumentally.

Unknown:

And the older your children, the further removed you are from the

Unknown:

world in which they in which you grew up, they're growing up in.

Unknown:

So it's, we need to make sure that we leave that judgment at

Unknown:

the door. Because if we don't, and we often do that with our

Unknown:

facial expressions, or our tone of voice, then what we do is we

Unknown:

close the door. And if we close that door, enough times, our

Unknown:

children no longer come to us, they won't open up in the same

Unknown:

way. Because they fear that we're going to be judged, we

Unknown:

should be the most accepting. Now that does not mean if your

Unknown:

child reveals, maybe they've been smoking, maybe they're

Unknown:

taking drugs, maybe they've had sex, any of these sorts of

Unknown:

conversations, or maybe they bullied a child, maybe they

Unknown:

behaved in a way that's atrocious, maybe they've stolen

Unknown:

something, whatever it is, if we want to keep those communication

Unknown:

lines open, we don't want to judge our child on that basis.

Unknown:

So we need to make sure that we answer them, and we respond to

Unknown:

them and we create a space where there is compassion, we can be

Unknown:

honest with our children, we can say that we're disappointed that

Unknown:

they've made that choice, I can tell you, they're probably even

Unknown:

more disappointed in themselves. And what they need from us is

Unknown:

that really is that listening ear, that compassionate

Unknown:

acknowledgement of what they've been through. So let's really

Unknown:

try and leave judgment at the door. And sometimes in some

Unknown:

families that can be tricky, because that can be when you're

Unknown:

co parenting is that maybe one of you finds that quite easy.

Unknown:

And the other one doesn't necessarily find that one easy.

Unknown:

And that's a separate conversation that you need to

Unknown:

have. It's about parenting together. And making sure that

Unknown:

you kind of create, you create that space, because the last

Unknown:

thing that you want is your child playing you off against

Unknown:

each other or feeling that one parent understands and the other

Unknown:

doesn't. So it's really making sure that we leave our judgment

Unknown:

at the door. And if we're shocked and horrified by

Unknown:

something that our child has said, because it goes against

Unknown:

the values that we've raised them in, then we need to take a

Unknown:

separate moment to deal with how that's showing up for us so that

Unknown:

we can show up the right way for our children. But it's also

Unknown:

making sure that if the dynamics of growing up in a world where

Unknown:

there is technology, whether it's information overload where

Unknown:

there is social media, we need to be able to understand what

Unknown:

it's like for them and how these things are important for them.

Unknown:

Again, it's not about changing the values in which we want to

Unknown:

raise our children in, but it is being able to understand, truly

Unknown:

understand that our children are growing up in a world that is

Unknown:

very, very different to ourselves. So leave that

Unknown:

judgment at the door when you're having those conversations.

Unknown:

Number six, show empathy, not sympathy. I'm sure you all know

Unknown:

the difference. But let's just kind of recap here slightly.

Unknown:

Sympathy in essence, when we talk about emotional

Unknown:

intelligence, sympathy is being able to say, Oh, that's so awful

Unknown:

that that happened to you, too. We can sympathize with someone.

Unknown:

But of course, it's horrible. Empathy is a whole level up

Unknown:

because instead of just saying that must be really awful for

Unknown:

you. Empathy is when we really place ourselves in that

Unknown:

situation and we can almost feel what it must feel like for that

Unknown:

individual. We feel their pain. It's as if we step into their

Unknown:

shoes.

Unknown:

and their experience. So when we are having when we want to have

Unknown:

meaningful conversations, when we truly show empathy by

Unknown:

stepping into their shoes, going back to leaving the judgment at

Unknown:

the door, being able to see things with their eyes, really

Unknown:

listening, so we can understand how that matters, that

Unknown:

particular thing matters to your child, whether that's a

Unknown:

friendship issue, they haven't been included in something, and

Unknown:

they felt left out, they weren't invited to a party. Now, as a

Unknown:

parent, we often say, Well, don't worry, it's just one

Unknown:

party, you'll be invited to lots of others, that sympathy must be

Unknown:

really bad. But there'll be other opportunities. Empathy is

Unknown:

really stepping into how that feels for your child, that they

Unknown:

feel they've been the only one excluded, that that makes a

Unknown:

statement about their friendships, that they're not

Unknown:

valued, that they're not loved, that they're not part of a group

Unknown:

that they've been removed and pushed out that there'll be lots

Unknown:

of conversations happening at school the following day, and

Unknown:

that they will feel as if they're being alienated from

Unknown:

that, that is empathy. So we really want to try and step into

Unknown:

that empathy, as best we can. And we can do that so much more

Unknown:

easily, when we have really listened, when we have really

Unknown:

sought to understand what's showing up for our child, how

Unknown:

it's making our child feel. And we've left that judgment at the

Unknown:

door, because we're trying to sort of storm us that stepping

Unknown:

into their shoes. So showing empathy rather than sympathy

Unknown:

where we can, obviously, we're not going to get it right all

Unknown:

the time. We're human beings, we're parents, parents, there's

Unknown:

no such thing as perfection, we're not going to do these

Unknown:

eight steps, I don't always do these eight steps. But if we can

Unknown:

do them more often than we don't, then we create an

Unknown:

environment where our children can come and talk to us. And

Unknown:

when we mess up, when we do become judgmental, if we're

Unknown:

quick to apologize, or we're quick to recognize that we've

Unknown:

made a judgment on something's important to our child based on

Unknown:

our roadmap on our framework, and we go in, and we apologize

Unknown:

for that, then we bring it back in. So number six is show

Unknown:

empathy, not sympathy. Number seven is look out for

Unknown:

opportunities to talk and take them. So don't leave it until

Unknown:

necessarily that your child is coming to you. But you actively

Unknown:

look for opportunities. And sometimes these opportunities

Unknown:

will be very fleeting, take them even if it's only a small period

Unknown:

of time. But if you're in the right time, it is the right

Unknown:

place, it's a topic that's appropriate to where your child

Unknown:

is at, then take that opportunity, you never know when

Unknown:

the next chance might come to connect. And it's those small

Unknown:

opportunities of connection that make a huge difference. Because

Unknown:

it's, it's almost like a, you know, we get that sort of

Unknown:

critical mass and a critical tipping point, that if we do

Unknown:

this regularly, our children then come to us more and more

Unknown:

often. It's just about having those opportunities to connect

Unknown:

about those more day to day conversations that I talked

Unknown:

about earlier about kindness, compassion, empathy,

Unknown:

friendships, being true to themselves, using their voice,

Unknown:

putting themselves in situations that make them feel slightly out

Unknown:

of their comfort zone. So it's actively looking for opportunity

Unknown:

so that we can instigate those conversations, rather than sort

Unknown:

of almost waiting for our children to start those

Unknown:

conversations with us, perhaps take those opportunities to

Unknown:

connect. Because then when the big conversations come along,

Unknown:

our children are much more likely to instigate that with

Unknown:

us, or we're able to ease into those conversations much, much

Unknown:

more easily. And then eight. And the last one is practice

Unknown:

regularly. Do this regularly practice these different tools.

Unknown:

And you'll find that it'll get easier and easier, it will feel

Unknown:

more comfortable. You know, the first few times? Well, not even

Unknown:

the first few times actually, unlike the first 10s, maybe even

Unknown:

100 times you do it, you're going to be constantly think,

Unknown:

Oh, my goodness me, am I listening? Have I paraphrase? Do

Unknown:

I really understand if I showed empathy, whatever that might be,

Unknown:

of course, it's going to be, it's not an easy thing to do.

Unknown:

But the more we practice, the better we get at it, which is

Unknown:

why it's so important to look for those opportunities. And it

Unknown:

may well be that when you look at these, you make a decision.

Unknown:

And I'm a big fan of this taking doing one thing at a time, you

Unknown:

may look at these and say, You know what, actually one of the

Unknown:

things I'm really not great at is really listening, because I'm

Unknown:

always trying to give an answer, I can recognize that in myself.

Unknown:

I'm going to really, really work on that. Then work on that. And

Unknown:

once you've got that nailed, or you're feeling much more

Unknown:

confident in that, take another it's not about that. And I hope

Unknown:

you've sort of realized that having listened to the podcast

Unknown:

often enough. It's not about trying to do too much in one go.

Unknown:

I'm a big, big fan of focusing in on one thing, the one thing

Unknown:

that you think if you implemented that, that would

Unknown:

have the biggest impact on everything else. Practice that.

Unknown:

Work on that

Unknown:

to perfect that, and then move on to another one. Because

Unknown:

what's key to parenting and harmony at home and

Unknown:

conversations with our children and raising resilient, confident

Unknown:

kids that don't feel too anxious all of the time, is consistency.

Unknown:

When we take on too much, we go in guns blazing with a new

Unknown:

technique that we've listened to on the podcast, or we've read in

Unknown:

a book and we think, Oh, my goodness, me, this is the

Unknown:

panacea, this is going to fix everything. And we go in. And

Unknown:

because we've taken on too much, we can't be consistent. So we go

Unknown:

from one extreme to the next. And our children often switch

Unknown:

off, because it's like, what's the this is the latest thing

Unknown:

that my parents are doing. And they know that it's going to

Unknown:

come and go, it's like a fad. So it is about being consistent

Unknown:

look for one thing that you can do one thing out of these eight.

Unknown:

So the first one is about making sure you choose the right time

Unknown:

and the right place, is being sensitive to the topic and your

Unknown:

child's developmental age. It's really listening, not to be able

Unknown:

to offer answers or a solution. But being able to paraphrase

Unknown:

back being able to say, I think, am I right in thinking that this

Unknown:

is how you're feeling? Am I right in thinking that this is

Unknown:

what matters, dear communication isn't just what we say, it's all

Unknown:

of the other parts is our facial expressions, our tone of voice,

Unknown:

our body language, make sure our communication back to our

Unknown:

children and our teens is congruent, it's consistent,

Unknown:

what's coming out of our mouth is consistent with what's going

Unknown:

on what our children see in that nonverbal because that massively

Unknown:

impacts their ability to want to talk to us, we must leave

Unknown:

judgment at the door. Our job is that we need to meet our

Unknown:

children where they're at, because they're growing up in a

Unknown:

different environment than we did show empathy, not sympathy,

Unknown:

look out for opportunities to talk and take them and practice

Unknown:

regularly. Now, before we finish, these are some really

Unknown:

important notes around these conversations. The first one is

Unknown:

children rarely want to have meaningful conversations at a

Unknown:

convenient time. Yeah, it's usually when you've got multiple

Unknown:

arms busy with either a young child or you're cooking

Unknown:

something or you got a bit of work that you need to do. You

Unknown:

need to get ready to drop everything, sometimes, to make

Unknown:

sure you don't lose the opportunity. Not all of the

Unknown:

time. But sometimes you need to do that. But children will

Unknown:

rarely want to have these conversations at a convenient

Unknown:

time. And you'll know with your own children, some children

Unknown:

always want to have these conversations just before they

Unknown:

go to bed. Some want to have them when you're in the middle

Unknown:

of something, there's a reason why they're having those

Unknown:

conversations with you then get ready to drop things and be

Unknown:

ready and available. Because when they're ready to talk,

Unknown:

they're ready to talk. It's not when we're ready to talk. That's

Unknown:

the first things the more our children feel, we get them and

Unknown:

accept them unconditionally, the more they will talk to us. So we

Unknown:

need to make sure that we acknowledge our children and our

Unknown:

teens feelings, even if we don't understand or we don't agree

Unknown:

with them specifically ourselves. We need to

Unknown:

acknowledge that. The third one is that children rarely want to

Unknown:

have a meaningful conversation after school pickup. So stop

Unknown:

asking them questions. They feel like they're being interrogated

Unknown:

now. Sorry, I'm, I'm sniggering because I see this so many

Unknown:

times. And I have been so guilty of it myself. How was your day?

Unknown:

Who did you play with? What did you have for lunch? What did you

Unknown:

do? Yeah, it to our children. It's an interrogation to us.

Unknown:

It's like, I'm just interested in your day, I haven't seen you,

Unknown:

I want to find out how it what's been going on. They don't want

Unknown:

to now some children will literally come out of school.

Unknown:

And we'll give you a blow by blow account. Fabulous. If

Unknown:

that's your child, then great. Take the opportunity there. But

Unknown:

most children I have either encountered through my work, or

Unknown:

certainly my own children, the last thing they want is to have

Unknown:

a meaningful conversation. In fact, quite often, they even

Unknown:

want to have a conversation. And actually, if you were like my

Unknown:

children, it was always what snack have you got for me in the

Unknown:

car, they want to eat, they want to have some downtime, they just

Unknown:

need to be. So they are rarely going to have that conversation,

Unknown:

it goes back to this idea. The first point is that children

Unknown:

rarely want to have meaningful conversations at a convenient

Unknown:

time for us. They want to have it when they're ready. So don't

Unknown:

keep asking them those questions, because they're much

Unknown:

more likely to shut off. And the last note that I would say is

Unknown:

avoid big talks which start with we need to talk and instead

Unknown:

maximize opportunities as they present themselves. Yep. So use

Unknown:

chances that you get rather than this great big Oh, I think we

Unknown:

need to talk or if you're feeling that you need to stop

Unknown:

the conversation rather than waiting for your child to

Unknown:

instigate it. Then you might use one of my favorite phrases,

Unknown:

which is I've noticed that Yeah.

Unknown:

I've noticed that you're showing a real interest in boys at the

Unknown:

moment. And I thought it might be a great time to have a

Unknown:

conversation about boyfriends, I've noticed that you get really

Unknown:

upset every morning before we go to school. Yeah, it's just

Unknown:

starting that I noticed that it's a non confrontational

Unknown:

conversation starter that we can use to introduce any specific

Unknown:

topic. So take those notes into account. So my give this week is

Unknown:

going to be a double give, really, because I think it's

Unknown:

really important that we have the eight points. But I also

Unknown:

think it's really important that you have the specific notes to

Unknown:

remember because there's two bits. So my give will be both of

Unknown:

those. There'll be two sheets, the eight checklist, and also

Unknown:

the specific notes that we need to take into account. And then

Unknown:

that way it can serve as a reminder, but also you can work

Unknown:

out actually, which of these eight skills and strategies do I

Unknown:

need to work on specifically for me, where's my greatest

Unknown:

opportunity? If I work on that, and what will that give me so

Unknown:

that you can begin to kind of use that, but also bearing in

Unknown:

mind these notes. So as usual, if you head over to my free

Unknown:

resource library, Dr. Mary hande.com, forward slash

Unknown:

library, you'll find the link to download this resource. All you

Unknown:

need to do is pop in your email address, and you'll get instant

Unknown:

access not only to this week's resource, but all the other

Unknown:

resources across all my other podcast episodes. As ever, I'm

Unknown:

going to make a plea for you to review and rate this podcast.

Unknown:

I've had some just really heartwarming, mind blowing

Unknown:

reviews from you. And I'm so so grateful. And this is how other

Unknown:

parents find the podcast as they find them through reviews

Unknown:

because then apple and Spotify then notify parents who are

Unknown:

listening to other podcasts that my podcasts might be useful to

Unknown:

them. So have you if you have enjoyed this episode, I would

Unknown:

love it if you could follow and review the podcast so that

Unknown:

others can find us and we can spread the love. So until next

Follow

Links