by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday May 31, 2006
Messages Parents Send
Verbal communication has two parts: what is said and what is heard. As parents, we have the responsibility of taking time to listen and communicate clearly. By word and action, we are to consistently convey that we accept them and consider them valuable. As we do so, we should be mindful of the messages they are hearing. Consider two examples:
Scenario #1: Interruptions by children. Perhaps we are completing a chore or simply watching television when our child comes with a question. If our response is, “Not now — can’t you see I’m in the middle of something?” we may be trying to express simply that we are busy, but the child interprets our message as, “My parent’s activity is more important than me. I do not count as much as that task.” When our children approach us, we need to stop and make eye contact. Then we can either hear their request or ask them to wait a moment.
Scenario #2: Schoolwork. Suppose the child has not done well in school. A typical reaction is to say, “I know that you can do better. You could/should/must work harder.” We think we are expressing, “You’re capable of more,” but what he receives is, “I don’t measure up. I cannot please my parents.” Children need to hear two things from us in a situation like this: our awareness that we must improve the way we support and help them; and our acknowledgement that we aren’t perfect, and we don’t expect them to be, either.
Misunderstandings will occur. But with God’s help, we can straighten things out and make sure our children hear messages that both train and encourage them.
FREE OFFER: In Touch Ministries invites you to celebrate your mother this month and receive our free offer of “Lessons My Mother Taught Me.” The message is a moving snapshot of Dr. Stanley’s childhood and the invaluable time he spent learning from his godly mother. You’ll want to honor your mother everyday for the priceless love she’s given to you. Register today and receive a free CD of Dr. Stanley’s message “Lessons My Mother Taught Me.”
Take the next step in your spiritual walk today! Enroll for free in the Charles Stanley Institute for Christian Living and learn biblical truth under Dr. Charles Stanley.