April 13, 2010

{5 Dos & Donts to Reconnect with your Kids: DO #4}

Do #4: Listen to Unreasonable Requests
Children, like parents, have problems and challenges in their lives which seem like huge obstacles to them. From time to time, they may confront you with what initially seems to be an unreasonable request. Before you shut a child down with an “absolutely not!” try to view the request from their perspective. Children have many constraints -- they cannot go anywhere without you or buy anything without you -- and you will stay more connected to your child by empathizing and by listening to their concerns. This is your opportunity to be a super-hero in your child’s eyes.

Example:
When my daughter told me that she and her three friends needed a ride to Boulder (42 miles each way) at 7:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and that I would need to wait there for three to seven hours to give them a ride home, I considered this an unreasonable request.  But, I allowed her to talk and when she explained to me that the school had stopped providing bus support to Model UN meets due to recent budget cuts, I reconsidered. My daughter and her friends had worked hard to attend this event. I then was honored that I was the parent selected for the job.  Of course, it was a long day, but when my daughter gave me a big hug as she retired to bed that night, it made it feel like the best day of my life.
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