kids and dad sitting around glowing camp fireAdvice

LISTEN to your KIDS, they are trying to TELL YOU something?

You know what amazes me most as a parent? 

The intuition my kids have, it’s shockingly accurate, more often than you’d think.  Their awareness and observation skills are not to be underestimated.

I like to think of myself as a good judge of character.  Keeping good people around me who have principals, empathy are independent and have their own opinion.

We don’t always see eye to eye, but that’s ok, in fact it’s great because you can always count on being dealt a differing opinion and the opportunity to expand your own line of thought.  Within all relationships are idiosyncrasies that we accept of our peers and them of us. 

A side from a differing opinion we all lead different lifestyles, where from time to time an action or moment can put a sour taste in our mouths.  Most of the time, we move past that as adults and accept these minor issues.

What I think parents, either forget or don’t always recognize, myself included, is that our kids are very observant, to the point that, if you want an honest opinion of the people you have in yours and their lives.   Ask them they’ll tell you and I’m sure your own intuition will be echoed back to you.

As a single dad I have used this to my advantage.  Since I don’t have a significant other to bounce things off, I tend to ask the kids opinions.  Indirectly of course, I ask them about changes in their friendships, why they hang out with certain people and stay away from others.  Why they may have pulled away from some relationships and dove in on others. 

Going about it this way I get their whole opinion.  How they see their friends, what they agree with and what they don’t.  More importantly what characteristics they gravitate to and which ones repel them.

It doesn’t direct my interactions but it does give me a better understanding of their feelings, insight and confidence, which is key.  So we have discussions about how to deal with conflict, negativity and selfishness. 

In my opinion it’s ok for you to speak your mind and tell someone you are uncomfortable or you don’t like how they are interacting with you.  If they are a friend hopefully that makes this type of instance a progressive one for their relationships.

My friends and I constantly call each other out disagree and can accept each other for who we are.  I want my kids to be able to do that too.  So whenever there is an instance of tension I tell them to address it.  If it goes unidentified it can harm a friendship.  We should be able to be open and honest with those we consider close.

All in all we need to spend more time listening to our kids.  Spend time letting them express their ideas, likes, dislikes and their own theories.  This is how we create a progressive, positive attitude.  When our kids get frustrated or upset, they don’t always know why, it takes a lot to draw out the reason, but if we keep the lines of communication open and free flowing, they will tell you what you need to know.

You just have to listen, they are willing and ready to accept your advice so why not learn from them, take their opinion into consideration, you might be surprised at how similarly you see the world.

The only difference is how you navigate it, and that’s your job as a parent.  Give them the tools to build confidence, intelligence and independence, then watch as the advice you give them mirrors back to you, offering up new avenues of thought. Kids get more than you think they are more observant and intuitive than adults give them credit for.  Listen to your kids, hear them and accept their insights it helps you as much as you help them.

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