Keep Those Lines of Communication Open With Your Children

Laura Jafri

by Laura Jafri

There are so many challenges to being a parent and raising children, especially in today’s society. It’s so important to keep communication lines open with our children.  Growing up in present times is so different from the days when I was a child.

There is so much out there available to our children. The internet is a wonderful creation but it can be a curse too. I can think of so many times that I have Googled something and a million options pop up. A very innocent search can invite a number of unwanted answers.  I cringe to think of how many
times that may happen to my children.  It takes a lot of supervision to raise a responsible child.  

My friend, Marianne, touched on this wonderfully in her last blog.  At our house, computers are not allowed in our children’s bedrooms.  Video game systems also must be in a common area of the house.  My kids always have to ask if they want to use the computer or play a game.  My oldest son has a television in his room.  We put it there because my elderly mother stays in his room when she comes to visit.  She likes a TV in there in case she has trouble sleeping at night. My son is not allowed to watch TV in his room unless he asks.  He rarely does because my kids really only use their rooms to sleep in.  We also have a block on all our televisions in the home. If the program exceeds a TV14 rating, it requires my husband or myself to punch in a code.

So how does this all relate to talking to our kids?  I want my kids to always feel that they can talk to me about anything.  I’m not stupid.  I know that there will always be things that my kids don’t tell me or ask me.  However, I want them to know that they can always come to me.  They should feel that they can talk to me or ask me anything.  My children are still young.  I know that the tougher days are ahead of me.  I have tried to lay down a foundation so that when the day comes, they will come to me.  I am starting to see the benefits of this with my oldest child.  He is a teenager now and the difficult questions in life are starting to surface.  I don’t want my kids to learn about life from the World Wide Web.  I definitely don’t want them to learn from their friends.  I think that it is great to have friends to talk to, but I have no idea what values have been instilled in them, so why would I want my kids to learn from other people’s parenting?

I have always told my kids that it is so important to talk about their feelings. Even my 9-year-old approaches me sometimes and says, “You know how you said I can talk to you about anything?” I even got to use that line on him this week when he did something I didn’t appreciate.  

I hope I’m doing the right thing.  I’m learning as I go along this parenting journey.  I guess I figure it can’t be too bad to take the time to talk to, and truly listen to, our children.  I learn just as much from them as they learn from me.

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