We live in a very hurried society.
With super fast technology, instant communication, jam packed days and busy schedules, who has time to wait?
As parents, we rush to get everything done….but at what cost?
Children need time. Time to formulate their ideas. Time to articulate their needs. Time to stare out the window and daydream.
As parents, we must learn to wait….not finish our children’s sentences, not listen to a few words and then jump in with another question…not hear the ‘pause’ in our children’s voices and then throw out yet another question…
We are often uncomfortable with silence. But there is great value in quiet. In space. In thinking things through before communicating. Psychologists call this “wait time” and it’s sadly lacking in our children’s lives.
Children need time to think. They are not as uncomfortable with silent pauses as many adults are. They might actually appreciate the change of pace!
Think about your conversations with your children, either at the dinner table or during carpool. How fast does it flow? Can you slow it down? What can you learn about your child during these exchanges?
Consider the quality of your questions. Are they questions that require a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response or are thy thought provoking? Focus on asking your child open-ended questions and see where the conversation goes. Give your children the opportunity to talk about their experiences. To ask their questions. To tell you what’s on their minds. Compliment your child on full, well-considered responses. When you slow things down, you give your children the opportunity to take a mental “breather” and focus on their own thoughts and feelings, and maybe even commnicate them to you. Now that’s a win-win proposition!