Informality Improves Communication
Don't put so much pressure on the time you spend with your kids
The best conversations, the best teaching moments, come in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As you are playing a game, as you are doing chores, as you are driving them to practice, and as you eat around the dinner table. The informality of life helps breed better communication.
You can’t force quality time. With rare exceptions, quality time can only arise naturally out of a quantity of time spent together.
If you need to have a serious conversation with your son, don’t make him feel like he’s being hauled in front of the parole board with an exact date, time, and witnesses. Bring up the topic while you are shooting some hoops or playing Mario Kart. If he’s older, take him out to lunch at a favored spot.
If you try to overly structure a teachable moment, your children will learn to dread them because they know what’s coming. It will feel like an interrogation or a lecture instead of a conversation. There are times for lectures, but they shouldn’t be the norm. You are their father. You love them. You have a relationship with them. Don’t act like their prison guard.
This is similar to family vacations where the parents have paid a lot of money, planned out the entire week to the hour, and expect everyone to spend every second having fun and creating wonderful memories. Or else.
Lighten up. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
If you have an abundance of moments with your children, you don’t have to put so much pressure on a single moment. And your kids will be more likely to talk to you if you aren’t treating it like the most important conversation we will ever have you must listen!
Because they can feel the tension, and they will tiptoe around it, trying to keep it snapping.
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