Dear Parents, Dinner Table Conversations Aren’t Enough

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As responsible parents, we do everything in our power to provide for our kids and give them the best chance at life no matter the cost because our love for them remains unconditional even during these trying times. In fact, unconditional love and support for one another is the single most important adhesive that’s holding families across the world together, regardless of the challenges that the Covid-19 global pandemic may throw at them.

However, one rampant issue that’s going unnoticed and harming the well-being of families is the lack of proper communication, and while at face value, things may appear okay, the reality of the matter is we aren’t open enough to our children. And sadly, little has been done to overcome this challenge, which is why we want to remind all the parents of just how important talking to your kids can be to their growth and why the small talk you make at the dinner table is a far cry from actual communication.

Your Child Needs Guidance

Although religious faith teachings and a loving home environment are equally important in supporting your child, nothing comes close to have you in the driver seat and offering your direct guidance during their times of need. And while kids these days are far more mature, educated, and informed in many aspects, the wisdom of a parent is unmatched when it comes to making sense of the woes and worries in life.

  • Learning New Things They Can’t Wrap Their Head Around: Firstly, remember that your child’s brain and heart act like sponges at this stage in their life, wherein they soak up as much knowledge and information as possible. However, while this makes for many experiences to learn from, children will also be learning new things they can’t quite wrap their heads around. And if they can’t muster up the courage to talk to you, they’re at risk of developing a misunderstanding.
  • Dealing With Foreign Emotions And Mixed Feelings: Secondly, children have yet to develop the emotional intelligence and experience to handle mixed feelings that are new and foreign to them. And this goes double under today’s current circumstances, with the pandemic preventing the traditional methods of reflecting with your friends and replacing it with unnerving loneliness. As a result, they might act rashly and react in a way that’s unpleasant.
  • Building A Stronger Relationship For The Future: Lastly, offering your guidance during their formative years helps build a stronger relationship for the future, and you prevent the feeling of growing distant from each other during your golden years. Too many families suffer from not being close with their children once they grow up, and little do they know that proper communication when they were much younger creates a lasting impact.

Where Should A Parent Start?

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Now that we’ve realized the benefits that come with proper communication and the dangers that lurk ahead when you fail to address its concerns, we recommend that parents go the extra mile in talking with their children apart from what they’re already doing now. Namely, we suggest that you (1) train your active listening skills, (2) learn to take an empathetic approach, and (3) refrain from labeling professional help as taboo.

#1 Learn To Listen First And Be Understanding

Our current generation often rewards those that are the loudest and most extravagant, but what we really need more of are active listeners that are capable of understanding and providing others with a safe space. Therefore, as a parent, we recommend that you learn to be the receiving end and transform yourself to become the attentive and understanding ear that will listen to all of your child’s troubles. Especially given the restrictions of going out and meeting with friends as per usual, you might just be the only person your child can actually confide in face-to-face.

#2 Be Empathetic And Use A Positive Tone

We understand that even parents aren’t perfect, and we are all but sinners doing our best to be better and enable the good that we’re capable of, and we believe that should go double for being empathetic towards your child. Your kid will fumble over and make mistakes, but you shouldn’t be quick to use harsh words and criticism because these approaches don’t encourage growth. Instead, we suggest that you learn to be empathetic with your words and to use a positive tone so your child will feel more comfortable opening up to you.

#3 Don’t Be Afraid Of Professional Help

Last but not least, when you know that your child’s troubles are far beyond your ability to help, then don’t be afraid of getting professional guidance because that might just be the solution your family needs. Expert behavioral therapy or DBT exists for a reason, and having a professional deconstruct and help foster understanding of more serious issues such as self-harm, anxiety, and depression can go a long way. So, be open to alternative methods of helping your child because God works through many people as well.

Happy Families Are Built Upon Healthy And Honest Conversations

In conclusion, we want to remind every parent that happy families are built upon proper communication, so don’t limit your chit-chats and fun times to the dinner table alone. A world full of fun experiences awaits you once you open up, so embrace each other into your loving arms.

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