adesh saxena

Consultant ENT Surgeon, Indian Medical Association

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How important it is to keep lines of communication with your child always open? Big question is how to achieve it?

I try my best to be in touch with my children. I would like to give them this confidence that they can tell me the their worst blunders and i will be the first person to know it for help and advice without reprimand.

Unlimited patience and wisdom accumulated so far is needed to rear up the kids in best possible way. Each child and every situation is unique and there is no one way to deal with them.

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    Feb 27 2013: I feel incredibly strongly about this and have had the role of hearing about everything not only from my own three kids (now teens and twenties) but from kids I have taught.

    For an adult to achieve this with young people, you have to convey through your reactions to things in kids' lives that you actually listen, maintain confidences, and respond in a sensible way rather than over-reacting, as many parents do.

    There needs to be a credible message of unconditional love.

    As Linda writes below, though, we all know adults who gush over kids with flattery about how brilliant they are and so forth rather than helping students understand their actual strengths and achievements in the context of standards that are well attainable by the child.

    Being real while acknowledging a kid's emotional needs at different ages is key to continuing credibility and trust and to a child's ability to self-reflect honestly..
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      Feb 28 2013: I agree with you Fritzie, unlimited patience and wisdom accumulated so far is needed to rear up the kids in best possible way. Each child and every situation is unique and there is no one way to deal with them.
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    Mar 2 2013: Hello Adesh:>)
    Children are very intelligent, observant, insightful individuals, from whom we can learn a LOT......IF.....we are open to that possibility. I believe we can achieve good communication with children, in the same way we nurture communication with adults.....an open heart and mind.

    To share information, it helps to have trust....yes? We build trust, by demonstrating trust with each other. Kids do not come with instruction manuals, and I agree that there is no one way to deal with any people....young or old. I DO know that respect, curiosity, compassion and empathy help quite a bit in any relationship.

    When my kids were teens, I sometimes said....."I've never been a mother before, so help me with this will you?" It put us on equal ground with communications and opened the door to trust, honesty and collaboration. My kids certainly didn't tell me everything, as I'm learning 40 years down the road...LOL! I wouldn't expect that. Hopefully, they felt comfortable talking about what they chose to talk about at any given time.:>)
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    Mar 2 2013: Think like they do, play as they like to do, and behave as they do, to win trust and respect as they would an elder brother (or sister) - while at the same time you respecting their uniqueness.

    When you know trust and respect is earned, start to add in the responsibilities that are appropriate to their age - never with parental anger, but on the back of what you as an 'elder sibling'/parent have earned. They will then do as you do.

    All this of course takes a lot of time.

    My biggest blunder is not saying sorry genuinely enough when I made mistakes. Adult male pride got in the way of that too much, until I realised in time what I was doing!
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    Mar 2 2013: It is important to listen without overreacting or acting as if the child has done the worst thing in the world. It takes a decision, a conscious effort, and a lot of self control. It also involves a conscious effort to understand the child; treating him or her as a unique individual....not like the other case we´ve handled before.
    A parent should be a parent, and this means one would not have to condone irresponsible acts and treat everything ill with kid gloves (so to speak); but if we discipline with love and understanding and if we try to teach in love instead of acting like a cold judge reading indictments; then we will go a long way.
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    Feb 27 2013: I really did not get a chance to view the video completely but here is my take on this question.

    I am not my children's friend. I am one person who holds values and standards I expect my children to achieve or at least be aware of. I will not take all information without reprimand. Sometimes children screw up and they need to know it. Then they need to reflect on the behavior and come up with strategies to avoid or overcome the circumstance the next time. That is my job. To pass on values and morals and the only way that will happen is if we have open communication.

    I know that because my kids know I will reprimand, they with hold information and situations from me. I am OK with that. They know they screwed up, and they know what I will say about it, and they prefer not to hear it because it is already in their conscious mind.

    If they get in really bad trouble, they know to ask me to suspend judgment and for the most part I can do that. They will say "Mom, please don't be mad but..." When they ask that of me I really really try. Because I do want them to be able to talk about the big things as well as the little ones. Everyone can get boxed into a corner and needs help sometimes. I hope they feel they can ask for help when they need it. From what I see they are growing up.
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      Feb 28 2013: Linda we want our kids to share good or bad events of thier lives with us. I understand your point that you have to reprimand , but you can postpone it.Only if we try to postpone our anger all the time and give measured response ,it works better. And if they know that you can postpone your anger , than they most likely will share things with you for your help and advice.
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        Feb 28 2013: "Linda we want our kids to share good or bad events of thier lives with us." I disagree. I want my children to be problems solvers and seek out appropriate assistance when they need it. Telling me is not necessarily going to solve anything. And I really do not want to know inappropriate good news either.

        Your kids must be much younger than mine. Mine are almost grown and on their own. I do not want to fix anything anymore. I am more of the "wanna meet for lunch" end of the spectrum.
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    Mar 1 2013: Yes my children need me till they have a secure earning source and married, after that they are more or less on their own. Both are in Medical College. I would also like my children to be as independent as possible. but i will be interested to know what is happening in their lives and i want them to know that i am always there for them , in every situation, all the time.
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      Feb 28 2013: Carolyn, we can not live in a fear of something might happen bad. As we will have very good days, we will have bad days too. Nobody in this world can escape from these twin opposites good- bad, pain- pleasure, hot-cold, gain-loss , health-disease etc. How we deal with them makes all the difference.Ancient wisdom is to practice equanimity, and this does not come easy. Equanimity is remaining same in pain and pleasure.You need not blow your head in achievements also there is no need to go in a ditch just because you have pain.Equanimity comes from patience and practice.
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    Feb 28 2013: I agree with you Ted lover children should respect us and not fear us. This is a gradual process, in the begining when they are young they do fear us , later its up to us to earn respect from them.
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    Gail .

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    Feb 28 2013: I discovered that by treating my child with great respect, I was treated back with great respect - and the world is a better place for it. I never gave her reason to fear me, so the lines of communication were always open - once I learned HOW to be a better parent - when she was about six.
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      Feb 28 2013: : I agree with you Ted lover children should respect us and not fear us. This is a gradual process, in the beginning when they are young they do fear us , later its up to us to earn respect from them.
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    Feb 28 2013: I agree with you Fritzie, unlimited patience and wisdom accumulated so far is needed to rear up the kids in best possible way. Each child and every situation is unique and there is no one way to deal with them.