How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen

How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen

                                                                                       

  I’ve heard a lot about this book but I hadn’t picked it up until a couple of weeks ago. I’m somewhat leery of parenting books that are touted as the next big breakthrough, even more so when I’m not sure if they are biblically based or not. I was pleasantly surprised when I actually started reading it and discovered more about the author, H. Norman Wright.  Within the first few pages, the author quoted Psalms and used a number of Scriptures throughout the book.

The first chapter focuses on discovering the uniqueness of your child(ren) and points out that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) and points out that as Christians if we believe this verse to be true then we are to value all that there is about our children.  We are not all created the same and that is a wonderful thing!

Dr. Wright reminds the reader that the Bible mandates that we listen. Numerous times throughout the Scriptures we are urged to be good listeners (Proverbs & James). There are some excellent guidelines for active listening, not just hearing (for our own purposes) but actually listening for the benefit of the speaker.  Communication basics are also covered and show real world applicability rather than just rhetoric advice.

  This book really hit home with me in terms of how much I solve things for my children without really listening to them and helping them find solutions. It is important that I listen to them for their sake and not for the sake of just gaining information. I also came to the realization that I ask “why” and then get frustrated when the answer is “I don’t know.” A better way to go about gaining insight may be to ask questions regarding what the child was thinking; not “What were you thinking?” in an accusatory tone but rather, “what was going through your mind,” in a more calm and neutral tone.

  This book has such great insights that I have read it once and am now rereading it while taking notes. There are a number of other insights that have the ability to help me communicate more effectively and on a more personal level with my children. I pray that my children are able to come to me about anything and that they are never afraid that I will be exasperated with them or disappointed in them for what they may wish to discuss. I would rather learn new techniques for better communication now than sit around in ten years wondering why they don’t share their lives with me.