Parent Chat: Learning to Communicate With our Kids as They Grow

Coming out of a previous Parent Chat conversation with parents on technology there was some interest in some basic understandings on how to communicate with our kids.

Learning means we need to study the effectiveness of our communication with our child. What worked yesterday might not work today. What works with one child may not work with another.

To Communicate means that just because we say something doesn’t mean that communication has occurred. Communication is too complicated to just assume that what is said is understood by both parties the same way.

With our kids means not at. They long for the sense of respect and appreciation as much as we do. Their future ability to respect and appreciate others is modeled by how we do this with them. You already know how to do this with other roles like spouses and authority figures, why not with them?

As they grow means they are a moving target as they are always growing. 

Discipleship as Parents moves through 4 phases:

“I do you watch.” Here you are a teacher/coach. Your child starts off as a concrete thinker, so we are showing them the relationships between actions and consequences; good or bad.

“We do together.” Here you are a guide/counselor. This is the hardest one for us as parents. With the onset of puberty our child is learning to differentiate, think in abstracts, and with it comes a lot of insecurity. Our role shifts away from telling to listening and working abstract solutions together with patience. This is hard when we want to react.

“You do, I watch.” Here you are a collaborator/consultant. Unasked for advice is seen as criticism so our parenting moves to observation and allowing them to grapple and entering in when invited. This is hard when we want to speak into everything

“You do.” Here you are an encourager/companion. This is the last stage where we get to empathize and be a resource to draw from. 

A resource that we recommend is the book “Growing With” by Kara Powell and Steven Argue.

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