As a busy mum (aren’t we all?) and concerned parent we all know that there are particular ways we need to approach our kids; to communicate effectively…..WTF, YOLO, FOMO, FTW.
But what about you, the parent….the concerned parent. The parent that’s so concerned with everything and constantly staying aware of the fact that it’s Tuesday and if sports uniforms aren’t washed today then come Thursday there’ll be all sorts of strife…..
While chopping those veggies you keep half an ear out for the impending argument that will come from the next room because Lord knows, somebody is bound to be annoyed by a sibling.
Or your favourite song comes on the radio and for 5 minutes you just want to sing out loud and block the madness that is after school at home.
When is the best time for your kids to talk to you?
Just about every parent I spoke to about this blog post said it was important to stay plugged in; you don’t want to miss a critical moment when your child tells you something that is really important to them.
Because miss that moment, and Dr Phil will be on your arse for setting the wheels in motion for what will be definite communication breakdown in the future.
So what do you do?
Well a few weeks ago in a particularly tense moment I was trying to ascertain who the hell had left a lunchbox full of dry noodles (complete with seasoning) in the pantry instead of emptying the lunchbox and putting it in the sink to be washed.
Well you can guess that no-one fessed up. And I did that thing teachers seem to do. “If no-one owns up you can all stay in your rooms.”
My sons protested.
“I don’t care.” I exclaimed. “Until someone confesses, you’re all going to be punished”.
Harsh. Maybe. Was I exasperated? Absolutely. Did I overreact? Probably.
I can see that confessing a crime to a mother who hasn’t had her afternoon coffee/tea/vino is not attractive. Especially when you know that the high-pitched madness will continue.
So none of kids fessed up straight away. I wouldn’t have either.
10 minutes later my daughter sends me a text confessing to her crime and explaining what happened.
There was a simple explanation.
Chats were had and everyone was allowed to see sunlight again.
A few days later my daughter had another sick day at home. I complained that just because you don’t feel like going to school doesn’t mean that it is reason enough to take another day off. Once again this conversation was being had while trying to get the other kiddies ready for school.
And once again, my daughter wrote to me. This time it was a lengthy note.
And once again, with a little bit of breathing space I was able to think things through and have a productive conversation with her, void of hysterics and exasperation.
I pride myself on being able to see all sides of the story. But I have to admit, that sometimes in the heat of the moment, all sides might seem blurry.
Communication is a two-way street. It’s not just about how I communicate with my children, it’s how they communicate with me. About the best way to communicate with me to ensure that I’ve heard what my kids are trying to say to me.
And I have to admit writing letters is probably the best way to communicate with me.
Do you tell your kids which is the best way to communicate with you?