If you always find yourself in hurtful arguments with your child, I know you want the arguments to stop. What started as an innocent remark could get out of control and soon the both of you are shouting at each other.
Well, it’s not always the fault of the child. I once witnessed a 20 minutes scolding marathon where the mother kept criticising her 16-year-old boy apart in front of me. The boy just kept quiet throughout, tears in his eyes. Finally, the mother turned to me and asked: “Can you believe how stubborn he is? He is so difficult.”
It was painful for me to watch because, in the end, the underlying issue wasn’t even resolved.
Hi, my name is Teacher Kean from Teaching Worthy. As a licensed headmaster and HRDF trainer, I’ve helped hundreds of parents and children improve their relationships.
Today, we are going to explore the steps we have to take to start fixing the relationship. Listen carefully, because if you understand what I’m teaching you, your interpersonal relationships will improve.
BOTH OF YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO HAVE A GENUINE CONVERSATION
Honestly, when was the last time you had a genuine conversation with your child? Dr. Jordan Peterson says: “in a genuine conversation, we are listening and talking, but mostly, we are listening. Listening means paying attention, and it’s amazing what our children will tell us when we listen.”
As parents, we automatically assume a lot of things about our children. After all, we have known them since they were born. We have established beliefs about our children. So, we overreact, we jump to conclusions, we are biased, and we alter the facts in our minds to fit our beliefs about our children.
This is why we love giving our children advice. The problem is, giving someone advice is forcing your own version of truth on them. This is not having a genuine conversation. Instead, if we pay attention, our children may tell us what they think the root of the problem is. If we keep listening, they may tell us that they already have a plan to tackle those problems. Demonstrate to our children that we are capable of listening without jumping to conclusions.
Here’s the key principle – when listening to your children, leave your own emotional needs aside. Always remember that you want the best for them, clear your mind, and don’t allow your own opinions and worries to affect your responses.
Carl Rogers, one of the great psychotherapists, recommends that we take turns with our children when speaking. Before your turn to speak, ask your child if you have understood properly. Try to listen without judgement and advice, until you have genuinely understood what your child is trying to say.
GUIDE THEM OUT OF THE “VICTIM” OR “BLAME” MENTALITY
Children who have the “victim” or “blame” mentality are unable or unwilling to see their role in bad situations. Instead, they want to change others to suit their emotional needs.
Do you know someone like this? It’s because most people believe that their lives are determined by external factors. It is far, far easier to blame others than to begin the painful process of improving ourselves.
How do we shift our children out of this mentality and attitude? The ancient Greek philosophy of Stoicism can serve as a clue.
Stoicism teaches us to take responsibility for our own lives. The Stoics believed that it’s not an external situation that makes us happy or sad, but our interpretation of that situation. Simply put, we need to teach our children about accountability and self-reflection.
To do this, we need to guide our children to think – have I already done everything I’m supposed to do? Have I already done everything correctly? If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then go do those things first.
In my previous videos, I’ve emphasised on how to deal with bad situations. We must guide our children to focus on doing the right thing NOW and what are the next steps necessary to solve the problem. There may be a time for a post-mortem later but first, get your children into the habit of taking action NOW.
What happens if your child is 100% sure that he has already done everything he’s supposed to?
It becomes important for them to let go of things outside their control. The Stoics realised that there are things that we can control, and things we don’t control. We can ONLY control our own actions. To let go and live a happy life, we should only focus on the things we can control, and accept the rest as it happens.
In this video, you may have come to realise that you have a lot of self-improvement to do before you can teach your children. I’m confident that you will see an improvement in your relationships if you can put these steps to good use. If you feel like your situation is unique or if you require specific advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at www.teachingworthy.com. Thank you, and please remember to share these lessons which are worth sharing.