Do you remember when….?
What was it like….?
Question after question after question is asked at my house. I would feel certain that it is not much different in other houses. We are bombarded with seemingly endless questions from our kids day after day. It can be fun at first but can often lead to frustration. We are busy people with busy lives and we often dismiss the simple questions thrown at us throughout the day. Perhaps, we are missing out on a greater opportunity.
Think about this idea with me for one moment.
We are the family Google.
Our children want the answers from us. They want to know that we have the answers to life’s simplest and most complex questions. They want the security of asking without the threat of feeling foolish.
Technology has given us access to information at the click of a button but it cannot give our kids what they desperately need: a deep, meaningful relationship with their parents. Intentional conversation is a key component to being a strategic parent and it starts early. Answering questions and leading conversations will lead to consistent conversation as your children get older.
The worst mistake we can make as parents is to give in to the technological pressure of today’s world and miss opportunities to get to the heart of our children. Technology has provided an easy escape from the work of having conversations with our kids. Sadly, it has only increased the relational gap between parents and children and we are seeing the effects.
So what do we do it about it? Here are some proactive steps to take:
- Don’t use technology as a crutch to avoid having conversations. I know it is easier to let them watch a movie or play on an IPAD but it does not help foster strategic conversation.
- Stay off your phone when you are with your kids. They will imitate what they see from you. If conversation with someone else is more important than conversation with them, you are setting the table for them to go elsewhere for important conversations.
- Ask great questions. Try to phrase your questions in a way that force your kids to answer in more than one word. You must train them to talk without using one-word answers. If you start this habit early, it will pay off greatly as they get older.
- Answer questions even if you are at the point of frustration. You never know when that heartfelt, meaningful question is going to come out. Shutting them out with frustration might eliminate an opportunity for an important conversation.
- Take time and schedule for strategic conversations. You have to be proactive in this area. Schedule time to do something with them that they like to do and use that as an opportunity to cast vision and discuss strategies for dealing with issues that will occur in the upcoming months and years.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be the family Google. Use those opportunities as a springboard for intentional and strategic conversations with your kids.