Are you Here for Me?
It is important to give our children the confidence that we, as parents, care about them and are there to help them, in the good times and the difficult times. For many of our kids, just knowing you care enough will give them great comfort and can lead to them doing things to please you and achieve more. Open up the conversation with a few questions to let them know your heart as their parent.
If you got into really big trouble, how do you think I would respond?
Their perception is their reality. Do not judge their response, but use this opportunity to assure them that you have their best interest in mind and encourage them that you only want the best for them. Regardless of what your child does, they desire your unconditional love.
If you’ve ever done anything that you’re not proud of or feel shameful about, how did you feel afterwards?
Unresolved guilt or shame can stifle our children with fear or result in a response of isolation or acting out. Let them talk through whatever they have done and allow them to find freedom through your forgiveness, love and, acceptance.
When has it been hard for you to talk to me about something?
The answer may surprise you. Tell them that regardless of what happens, you will never stop being their parent and will never stop loving them. Assure them you will be there for them.
One night a few questions around our table, we learned that one of our sons was dealing with guilt from a choice he made. We assured him that we wanted to help him through whatever it was without judgement. After his confession we were able to help him deal with his mistake and how he could make better choices going forward. After our talk he hugged us both in thankfulness and relief. It’s not easy for our kids to start the conversation so be intentional and lean in with a listening ear to your children.