Parents often lament that their children don’t talk to them and when they do they give one word answers, “Fine.” “Nothing.”
When children are little they jabber freely, sharing their thoughts, questions, desires, needs, feelings and vivid imaginations. Many times adults meet this outpouring of their inner world with condescendence, annoyance, frustration, fear, concern or judgment.
By the time the children are in kindergarten they have learned that they are safer by not sharing their truths with us.
If we want our kids to talk to us we have to prove to them that we will hold their thoughts and feelings in confidence and treat them with respect and compassion.
Children need to know that their inner world -their thoughts and feelings- belong to them and that if they share the depth of their being it will not be met with comments, suggestions or judgements.
If we fall apart and become emotional wrecks or hold them responsible for how their behavior makes us feel we will teach them to hide the truth from us.