By Marie Roker-Jones
What does it really mean to speak from the heart? It means sharing powerful and heartfelt thoughts that build trust. Some of the best conversations you’ll have with your kids are those in which they feel safe and comfortable to share with you. There is something beautiful yet vulnerable about this experience because it brings us closer to our kids and allows them to speak their truth.
Kids, by nature, speak with truth. We teach them to dispel that truth by censoring them or encouraging them to lie. Although we want to raise independent and critical thinkers, we aren’t always respectful of their thoughts and opinions.
As parents, we often exert our authority and try to control our conversations with our children. We are so adamant that they listen to us, that we forget to listen to them. Even when they are speaking, we may interrupt them in order to say what’s on our mind. If the delicate moment is marred by criticism and judgment, our kids become distrustful of us. Kids need to know that they can speak openly and honestly with their parents without fear or reproach.
We never really know what is going on in the minds of kids unless we give them the opportunity to share freely. When they speak from the heart and we listen with love, we build trust and mutual respect. Every day has teachable moments for children and their parents. When we take the time to listen, we let them know that we care about what they have to say. In those moments when our kids share their fears, their pain, and their truth, we become the student and our kids become our teacher.
Marie Roker-Jones is the founder of RaisingGreatMen.com, a Certified Breakthrough Parenting® Instructor and Intrinsic Coach® in Health and Wellness.