We’re into our third week of school now and this is sometimes the point where children start to question, “You mean I have to go back every day this week too?”
And as parents, we start to have some questions of our own – like just what really goes on at school and what are our children really like at school?
This is even more so when a child makes a comment about something he/she doesn’t like or a situation he’s bothered about at school.
Author Janet Lansbury in her blog, Elevating Childcare encourages parents to give your child space when she/he is sharing personal information with you. She says the missing element in most of our exchanges with our children is silence – our silence.
We are often too quick to jump in with advice and “shoulds” and “maybe’s”.
Lansbury says it is enough for us to just listen – to say “that sounds hard for you” or “you didn’t like that” – and then be still, stay near, be silent.
Allow your child the time and the gift to absorb your words, appreciate your understanding, confidence and trust in him.
A parent just told me that her young daughter had shared with her something that was happening that her daughter didn’t like. Her mom listened and reflected back her daughter’s feelings and then let it be – for her daughter to think about, to integrate, or to share more when she’s ready.
For now I believe this little girl felt “held” by her mom’s quiet empathic response.
Silence – often says more than a thousand words.
It says I heard you.