How you raise your children and what you do to hone their skills, usually define their childhood and pave way for their future. The current global crisis has pushed several families into uncomfortable spots, making them deal with this unprecedented situation while being holed up with their children in self-quarantine. As such, it is natural for parents to lose their temper and patience from time to time. But, what needs to be understood is that children deserve respect and better answers, too.
Which is why former psychotherapist, coach and consultant Kris Prochaska shares her valuable tips on how parents can get their children to listen and engage, in this Ted talk.
"Kids need guidance. They don't have the same abilities and the same privileges that we do as adults. But, that doesn't mean they don't have equal value... Why don't we see our kids as equal?" Prochaska says. She then goes on to list the reasons, and says she is not particularly proud of the things she has said or thought.
"I am the adult, you are the child. I know better"; "don't ask me right now, I am too busy. Just do what I said" are some of the things Prochaska says most parents say to their kids. "What are the potential long-term consequences of talking to our kids with this orientation?" she asks.
"I saw parenting as a role, not a relationship. And certainly not a relationship of equality. More like, 'I am the mom, listen'. What if you saw your kids not as empty vessels to fill with all your wisdom and knowledge, and that if they didn't follow it, you somehow failed? Or that their behaviour is a poor reflection upon you? And instead, perceive them as individual, sovereign beings, who have inherent value and preferences? What if, instead of feeling like you had to have all the answers, you said: 'I don't know what's going on here, but I am pretty sure we can figure it out together'?" Prochaska says.
She insists that the next time you have an interaction with your children, you let them know that you value their voice.