Once we get to know ourselves, we can begin to understand our children. As we progress through the stages of emotional intelligence, we enter stage 3. Can we understand what drives our children? What are their personalities like? What are their values? What do they see as their priorities in life? What values do they have? What are their needs and wants? Who are these young people that we are responsible for? And what is the environment like? All these things affect our children in their never ending growth toward maturity.
Stages three and four of emotional intelligence is that once we can understand and control ourselves, we can now understand and influence others. And one way we can learn about our children by observing them and talking to them.
One of the keys to our relationship with our children is how we communicate with them. We can observe what they do and make inferences from what we observe. Consistency in their behavior gives us an idea of how to interpret and understand what they are doing and what they are thinking. But the best way to find out what is going on in their heads is to ask. Communicate with each other. Get to ask them what and why they are doing something. It is better to hear from them than to assume. We all know what assume means. And just because we are listening does not mean we are giving up control.
Communication with our children can be tough. They tend to not want to tell us what is going on. This is one of the major struggles between parents and their children. But somehow, we do need to get the information if we intend to understand our children better in order to lead them to happiness and success.
I tend to talk in principles that I have learned from reading and working with youth for over 30 years. My own children did not like when I said “you are who you hang around with.” This is a timeless principle that works just about all the time. Yet children don’t like to be told what they don’t want to hear or something that puts a hold on something they want to do. The important moral of this story is that principles work just about all the time. You can’t debate or change the principles. Methods can be changed or debated. The issue with children is that they haven’t learned principles are universal and they want to argue them. Just stick to your guns and know in the long run the principles hold true. That is why I am writing this blog in the form of weekly principles. I have found them to work over and over again.
So where do you stand on this idea, the idea of understanding your children as best you can?
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