Help Me Understand My Child
When moms come to me they are often at wits end. One of the biggest requests I get is: Help me understand my child. Everyone’s picture is different, but there are often similarities.
It’s often during times that our child wants something, doesn’t want to do something or are disagreeing with us even though we make perfect sense. 😉
This can come in the form of balking a routine, choosing questionable clothes or friends, resisting bedtime or a million other clashes of opinion.
When this happens, it’s easy for us to assume they’re wrong.
Or that they are “in their own world”.
Or that they are too “sensitive/ demanding/ add your own adjective here.”
I offer this question:
What if they are making sense and it’s our first job to understand them?
We already have the upper hand.
We can yell, demand, give consequences, shame, and guilt them into doing whatever we say. No question about it. We can pull our authority, read more books on how to make kids behave and continue the power play. But we will live with the wish to know “how can I better understand my child” while missing all the opportunities to do this…
Or we can seek to understand without judging them, using words to hurt them, or belittling their answers.
We can ask with an open heart, ready to accept their answers as their truth.
Here is the “Help Me Understand My Child” List of Questions to Ask:
Tell me why this bothers you.
Tell me more about why you want this.
What can I do to support you?
What do you most want here?
Why does this matter to you so much?
How can you and I come together here to make this happen (chores, etc.) so we’re both happy?
If we take the time, I promise this – they will teach us that it’s often not about the event we engage in, but about a deeper issue, feeling, longing that they are acutely tuned into while we just want chores done. Maybe they feel sad, or alone, or afraid. Maybe they don’t understand how important they are. Maybe they feel they are always being told the negative and not enough positive.
Whatever you uncover will be the golden center of connection.
And that gold will far outweigh the chores (or other situation).
Your whole family just might shift from “Help me understand my child” to “Help me have more time to listen.”
Chat Below: Do you agree or disagree? What are the problems with this approach? Have you tried it and it worked or not?