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Friday, February 1, 2013

Don't Wait until Your Children are Teens.

Yesterday's blog was about improving communication with our children. And I talked about the value of youth centered conversations.youth centered conversations

Can you imagine any adolescent who wouldn’t appreciate a good youth centered conversation?

That’s not a hypothetical question. Can you?

Me too. What are they like?

Hurting. Have they had their trust broken? maybe multiple times?

Exposed. Have they seen and experienced things either in person or through media and online that have stolen their innocence, twisted their perspective, broken their hearts?

Afraid. Afraid of who will hurt them next. Struggling to know who is safe and who they can talk to. 

Do they feel...

What these teens need is a time machine. I wish they could go back before these things happened to them, before they made those bad choices and before they felt that despair. And, in those quiet moments of their childhood, I wish they had a parent or adult who would love them and accept them and put a priority on a relationship with them. They need these youth centered conversations to start as early as possible.

So for those of us with children who are still willing and interested in talking to us and opening their hearts and their imaginations to us, we need to listen. We need to stop doing all those important things that won’t matter a week from now, let alone a decade from now. We need to stop and listen to our children.

We need to teach them how to communicate by communicating with them. We need to teach them that they are loved by loving them. We need to stop making excuses and believing that we can focus on them later. From the moment they can communicate, we need to make communication with them a priority. Here's some tips on communicating with your child from All Pro Dad.

Start today! And if it feels like it's too late, like you've already lost your voice, tomorrow, I'll share with you a path to follow to bring healing and restoration to your relationship with your child.

Have you had a time when you stopped and listened to your child and was amazed by what you heard or learned from them? Please share in the comments.

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