When someone tells me what to do, I don’t like it. Not that I’m against authority. No, but if you’re insisting I read a certain book or act as if you are my professor, I don’t find it fun. When you kindly suggest and offer more information that you think doing something or reading a certain book would help me, I’m more likely to be interested.
It’s all in the way we speak…
That’s how it is with most people I think. Do you feel that way too?
My mother used to say, “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I’d scrunch up my face and be like, “Yuck! Who wants any flies?!” She’d laugh. I’d laugh and the point was taken. Change the way you’re speaking and you may get what you want/need.
It’s the same with parenting kids. Act like a dictator and they’ll just hear a garbled “blah blah blah” like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons on TV. It will be in one ear and out the other without them really listening actively.
But if you talk with them and not at them, they’re more likely to listen. If you give them a chance to have a conversation with you and not be tuning you out and pretending to listen to you preaching or pontificating or demanding x, y or z, then you’ll have a better relationship as well as get them to choose for themselves in a better way. Because they’ll be open to listening to what you have to say when you’re sharing your wisdom and experience with them.
While most parents know this, we’re sometimes so frustrated that we can’t take our own time out and then speak. Instead we go off on the emotional tangent and don’t treat our kids like we’d like to be treated.
I have a childhood friend (who’s a guy) who called the other day. In the middle of the call, my son came in to talk about a job he was applying to and my friend overheard him. It ended up that they started talking and I watched how they conversed. It was back and forth with my friend’s suggestions being heard, processed and accepted by my kid. I sat there with a smile on my face listening to my kid talk about the job market from his point of view and my friend (who’s my age) helping him.
Later that evening, my son came up to me and told me how he liked talking with my friend because he was helpful. He told me how he liked how my friend shared his wisdom instead of telling him what to do like a dictator or berating him like his dad does. He then went on to say how he’d learned more in 10 minutes with my friend than on the call with his dad on the same subject.
It’s all in the way we speak with people…isn’t it?