Enjoyment of Your Children Makes
Life So Much Fun
Articles about children often seem to focus on the stressors they give parents. We read how they misbehave, don’t listen, don’t go to sleep on time, aren’t grateful, change our social lives and are even called “naughty.”
This year let’s take a new perspective seeing their struggles as challenges using Parental Intelligence. Let’s learn how to enjoy our children to the utmost as they bring us so many rewards of love and joy.
Children are Curiosity Seekers
Who Love Close Parental Bonds
Children are always ready to learn something new. The world is a place of excitement, discovery and new knowledge.
Here are 9 suggestions for using your Parental Intelligence to build their adventurous spirits and close tie with you.
1. Even when your child misbehaves, take their action as an opportunity to use your Parental Intelligence to figure out what is being communicated by the behavior.
Sometimes kids don’t have words for what they want to say, so they use actions, even if they are the wrong choices at the time. Ask yourself, “What was he trying to say by doing that?” instead of “How should I punish him?” which only brings resentment, not communication.
2. Be involved in learning about your child’s interests.
If you are interested in the things she does, she feels you are interested in her. Learn the details of what she’s creating. Notice her new found skills and learning opportunities. This brings you closer together.
3. Children make mistakes by not following parents’ rules. Use these mistakes as catalysts for change.
A mistake is an opportunity to learn something new, not a time to criticize and judge.
4. Listen closely to your child’s chatter.
It may seem like idle conversation, but all words communicate. Notice the choice of words, her particular vocabulary, her tones of voice and facial expressions. These are ways to get to know your child and let her know what she says matters to you.
If it matters to you, it builds her self-esteem because you matter to her and she seeks your approval.
5. Put judgment and criticism in the closet.
Make positive suggestions about how to improve behavior.
Make rules together that make sense to both of you that you can live by and then be flexible and change them as you learn what works for each of you. Rules are guides not hard fast laws or policies.
6. Experiment with how much to be involved in your child’s school work.
Some kids need someone to sit by their side or just need a parent close by in the kitchen to help them feel organized and cared for as they tackle new learning opportunities.
Other kids want and need direct guidance on how to organize their assignments, pack their backpacks, file their papers in their binders and folders. Discuss all this with your child, so you both feel comfortable and your child finds homework a pleasant activity.
7. Experiment with how much to be involved with your child’s friends.
Learn their names. Help plan play dates or last minute neighborhood fun.
8. Some kids make friends readily. But others are slow to find friends.
Guide quiet children about how to enter conversations if they don’t do this naturally. Let them know that kids like to talk about themselves. Suggest they talk to others by asking them questions, making positive comments about what they are wearing or doing.
9. Parental Intelligence means understanding your child’s points of view.
Be curious about their opinions, values, and ideas. Try to encourage them to expand on their perspectives. Be careful not to judge and criticize. Just ask more questions. They want your approval. Showing you are interested in their points of view gives them that reassurance.
Parental Intelligence means understanding your child’s communications as you create a close, loving bond.
Enjoy your child as he or she enjoys you!
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst whose upcoming book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Behavior, will be released in October, 2015.