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  • Writer's pictureCarla Pahl

Your Future Teenager

Imagine a future where your teenager comes to you with their problems, not because they have to, but because they want to. This future can be a reality if we lay the right foundation from their tender years. It all begins with fostering open communication. It's like planting a seed of trust and understanding that, with time and care, grows into a sturdy tree, sheltering the relationship even during the stormy teenage years. Open communication is the beacon that guides your child through the complexities of the world. It's a safe harbour where they can dock their worries and fears, knowing they'll be met with empathy and understanding. It's the invisible thread that keeps you connected, even when the physical distance grows. To make this future possible, we need to start now.

It begins with Active Listening

Active Listening

Active Listening, is a powerful tool in building strong bonds. Active Listening is more than just hearing the words your child says. It is about showing genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings, and understanding their perspective. It is about truly tuning in, eliminating distractions, and focusing on the conversation at hand. Active Listening involves not just hearing, but also observing. Notice your child's body language, their tone of voice, and facial expressions.

These non-verbal cues can often communicate more than words themselves. When we actively listen, we encourage our children to express themselves freely. They feel safe, knowing they are in a non-judgmental space where they can share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. They feel respected and valued, knowing that their opinions matter. Active Listening also involves responding appropriately. A nod, a smile, or a simple 'I understand' can go a long way in showing your child that you are engaged in the conversation. Ask open-ended questions to encourage more dialogue. Reflect back what you've understood, to show your child that you're truly listening and understanding their point of view. The beauty of Active Listening is that it is a skill that can be developed and improved over time. The more you practice, the better you become. When we actively listen, we show our children that their voices matter, setting a strong foundation for open communication.

Using the phrases below can help parents actively listen to their children and show understanding and empathy for their thoughts and feelings. Remember that age appropriate phrases are important. Asking a little child to explain is often confusing and too complicated for them. Tuning into the excitement and the sadness at the time is the best time to communicate your open connection to their expression.

Toddler (1-3 years old):

  1. "I see that you're feeling sad. Can you tell me what's bothering you?"

  2. "I hear you saying you want to play. What game would you like to play?"

  3. "You look excited! Did something special happen today?"

  4. "It seems like you're frustrated. Can you show me what's bothering you?"

  5. "I understand that you don't want to go to bed yet. Let's find a book to read together."

Kindergartener (4-6 years old):

  1. "I hear you saying you had a fun day at school. What was the best part?"

  2. "It sounds like you're worried about the upcoming field trip. Can you tell me more about it?"

  3. "I noticed you're feeling upset. Can you explain what happened?"

  4. "You seem excited about your friend's birthday party. What are you looking forward to?"

  5. "I understand that you're upset about sharing your toys. Can we talk through what happened?"

School-Age Child (7-11 years old):

  1. "I can tell you're feeling proud of your accomplishment. What made you feel successful?"

  2. "It seems like you're feeling anxious about the test. Can you tell me what's causing that worry?"

  3. "I hear you saying you had a tough time with your group project. Can you walk me through what happened?"

  4. "It sounds like you're frustrated with your homework. Can you explain what part is challenging?"

  5. "I understand that you're upset about not being picked for the team. Let's talk about your feelings and find a solution together."

Teenager (12-18 years old):

  1. "I can see that you're feeling proud of your artwork. What inspired you to create it?"

  2. "It seems like you're anxious about the upcoming exams. Can you share your concerns with me?"

  3. "I hear you saying you had a tough time with your friend. Can you tell me more about the situation?"

  4. "It sounds like you're frustrated with the workload. Can you explain what's overwhelming you?"

  5. "I understand that you're upset about the disagreement with your sibling. Let's discuss what happened and how we can resolve it."

Active listening not only promotes honest dialogue, it also enhances an understanding and builds stronger bonds between you and your child. By taking time to Actively listen to your child, you set the stage for a healthier approach to conflict resolution and mutual respect.

Remember, open communication NOW forges healthy connections for the FUTURE. Start today, and pave the way for a stronger bond with your child tomorrow.

'The Sleeptalk Process®, is a unique parenting tool that encourages communication from an early age. The Sleeptalk Process® is a gentle method that fosters communication between parents and children. It's a proactive approach that helps build a strong communication connection with your future teen. It's like laying down the foundation for a house, but in this case, the house is a strong, open relationship with your child. The beauty of The Sleeptalk Process® is that it can be started at any age, paving the way for open communication as your child grows. With The Sleeptalk Process®, you're not just talking to your child, you're building a bridge to their future.

If you curious to learn more about The Sleeptalk Process®and how you can begin this journey of fostering open communication with your child? Just click on the link to discover more about this unparalleled online support for your future teen.

Imagine the potential benefits of a strong, open relationship with your child that can weather any storm. A foundation of trust and understanding that will last a lifetime.

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