The Secret to Deeper Connection with Your Child
by Becky Harling
Many parents I know wrestle with self-doubt. They wonder, “Am I doing this right? Am I being too strict or too lenient? What if I mess up my kids and they spend a lifetime in therapy?”
Here’s the thing, no one is a perfect parent except God, and His kids sure messed up in the garden. However, there is one skill you can work on to develop a stronger relationship with your child: listening.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I would listen if I could just get this kid to talk!” I’ve got good news for you! There are proven methods to get your child to talk.
One of the best ways to get your child talking is to learn the art of asking questions without making him feel like you’re interrogating him. Learn to ask simple “feeling” questions and never correct their answers. For example, “How do you feel about your teacher?” Give your child permission to feel all their feelings. They are after all, created in the image of God who experienced the whole range of feelings.
Focus your listening on understanding rather than correcting. The wise writer of Proverbs wrote, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3). The child who feels continually corrected will eventually stop talking. Shift your focus from correction to connection.
The truth is it takes wisdom to understand your child, but you won’t be able to understand his heart unless you put some effort into how you listen. However, with a little effort, you can build a bridge to your child’s heart that will last a lifetime.
Authentic. Passionate. Funny and Biblical all describe Becky Harling. A bestselling author, Becky is a popular speaker at conferences, retreats and other events. Her most recent book, How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk, has become a favorite among parents. Becky is a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team and offers coaching for parents who are struggling in their parenting journey. You can connect with Becky at www.beckyharling.com, www.harlingleadership.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beckyharlingministries, Twitter, @beckyharling, or on Instagram at Becky Harling