Last weekend proved to be an eye opener in many ways. One of us from the ParentEdge magazine team attended a CoRe (Communication and Relationship) workshop anchored by Mr. Kichu Krishnan, who has over three decades of experience in the industry and in personal coaching.
We learnt that it is ‘I’ or ‘me’ who is responsible for the effectiveness in communication. The principles that were explained are applicable to all relationships, especially to parenting.
Some anecdotes that were narrated during the two-day workshop which illustrated these principles:
Spending time with children:
All of us lead busy lives and it is easy to tell ourselves that we are too tired at the end of a long workday to answer the child’s questions or engage in an activity that he/she wants us to. However, we must remember that it is possibly only until 10 years of age that the child seeks our company. After that, the child is on his own. At that time, suddenly we seem to have all the time in the world and we feel the child is turning away from us; all of a sudden friends become the centre of his universe, and the child does not seem to want us anymore. But the fact is that as parents, we often miss the golden chance of connecting with the child when the child is young. If that connect and communication is established early, then it is very likely that it will continue through the adolescent and young adult years.
As adults we often assume that we know and understand everything, having gone through many experiences. So we do not listen with an open mind and heart. For example, if the child comes to us and says he is being bullied by older children, our response is, “Oh don’t worry, I too was bullied, It’s nothing, it is a way in which older children make friends with you.” This discourages the child from opening up to us. In order to understand the situation completely, we must not jump in with our pre-conceived ideas and notions that stem out of our experience in the past. Unless we listen, we will not understand the seriousness of the situation – for example, the bullying that the child is referring to could even be sexual abuse. There are instances where children have resorted to suicide as they were unable to find a listener to narrate their ordeal to. So it is important that as parents we listen so that the child feels free to be open.