Most of us greatly underestimate children.
Believe it or not, we humans are born equipped with a self-confidence and an inner-guidance system that help us navigate challenges. All too often, we well-intentioned grown-ups jump in too quickly to solve our kids’ problems without giving them a chance to do so on their own. This can leave them feeling:
1. Incompetent: "I'm too young (or too incapable, too fragile or too weak) to do it on my own.”
2. Dependent: "I can’t do it. I don't know how. Can you do it for me?"
3. Defiant: "You're not the boss of me!"
Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training helps us let our kids help themselves. When we trust in their ingenuity and resourcefulness and focus on their strengths, it gives them the opportunity to trust their own judgment and sharpen their problem-solving skills. Then they are able to find solutions that are most right for them at that moment in time.
ACTIVE LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES AND EARS
The most powerful and helpful parenting skill is to actively listen to our kids because it helps them tune into their inner-guidance system (i.e. their point of view, their interest and strengths). Our children are always telling us about themselves, both by what they say and do. Sometimes in subtle ways and other times much more obvious, they are letting us know what they do and don’t like, who they do and don’t trust and what they’re ready for and where their boundaries are.
When we active listening, children can connect with their inner potential without being distracted by our well intended advice and help. This helps them work through their experiences. As a result they feel confident and self-reliant so they can better handle whatever comes their way.