Feelings of empowerment will help your child succeed in the face of life’s challenges. The first and most important way of empowering your kids is helping them feel seen and heard.
I love my mother and I know she loves me. She is smart, generous, and would walk through fire for me, but she isn’t exactly the most nurturing person. She has a very tough love no nonsense approach to life. When life throws her a curveball, in an attempt to cope with her own emotional experience, she springs into action and “fixes.”
This works for her, so she assumes it will also work for me. Except she fails to realize these two things.
- Sometimes I just want to share my experiences with her, in order to be seen and heard. I don’t want her to fix anything. I just want her to bear witness my experience.
- When she springs into action and tries to fix my problems for me, I don’t have a chance to process and work through my own life challenges.
It took me years to realizes that turning to my mom for emotional support usually backfired. Instead of feeling refreshed and empowered to take on the world, I usually leave these interaction feeling trivialized.
Everyone wants to be seen and heard. When it comes to your kids, there is no one in the world they want to feel understood by more than you. Most of the time all they need from you is for you to bear witness to their experience and say “yes, I see you… I hear you…”
As a successful high performing professional it can be really challenging to just bare witness, to avoid springing into action. That’s why we recommend all high-performing parents adopt the practice of active listening until they have mastered the skill of bearing witness.
It’s a fairly straight-forward practice. Simply follow these steps:
- Face the speaker, so you can make eye contact
- Be fully present
- Provide non-verbal feedback
- Keep an open mind
- Listen to each word
- Try to picture what the speaker is describing
- Don’t interrupt
- Don’t impose solutions
- When the speaker pauses, ask clarifying questions
- Summarize what you heard.
Empowering your kids starts with active listening and bearing witness. Keep the momentum going, learn how to enhance your relationship with your child and empower them to thrive for year to come. Check out these e-books, brought to you by Rich Legacy:
8 Ways For Busy Dads To Improve Their Relationship With Their Children
8 Ways For Mompreneurs To Improve Their Relationship With Their Children