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👩‍👦"2 Tips To Make Your Kid Feel Heard"

(5 Minute Read) How to make your child feel like they matter

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Last night, I was tutoring at a group home, and my student lives with a couple of other boys. Usually, we sit at the kitchen table and work on resources I have for him. However, that day, he had homework and didn’t need much help. One of the other children who was new to the house started talking to me. At first, I was kinda shocked, but then I just listened.

Ten minutes later, the kid is sitting on the kitchen counter and talking up a storm about high school, his goals, and some struggles. I was confused about how we got into this conversation because I'm another student's tutor. Then I realized that because he is new to the home, he might not feel that connected to the other kids yet and just wanted someone to listen and feel like he matters.

Have you ever noticed that when you meet your child's friend or even a random kid, they just start talking and have an in-depth conversation about everything they think? You're just standing there like, 'I thought you were my kid’s friend' 😅. Don’t you want to go hang out with them? But when I look back, I think they were just happy for someone to listen.

Isn’t that the same thing we want a lot of the time? If we want to feel heard, our kids probably want to feel heard too! But before we continue this conversation, let's take a moment to support the sponsor we love today. Here’s a quick ad for them.

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The thing is, the way to feel like your voice matters is by feeling that you make a difference. Allowing a child to contribute to a conversation and having it affect the outcome of what you are doing is key. Think about when you are at work, and there is an issue that keeps on recurring. You have a meeting with your team, and you propose a solution that would solve it. You've already tested the theory and proved it would work. Your boss says thank you but never enacts what you said.

You feel like, 'What is the point? No one listens to me; what I say doesn’t matter.' This exact experience happens to your child. You can easily fall into the same role as your boss does to you. You can say to your kid, 'That’s a great idea,' but if you don’t take action on what they say, they will notice and feel like what they say doesn’t matter.

A way to change this is to start telling your kids what you are going through and ask for their thoughts. An example of this is if you were going to a doctor's appointment or you had to present something at a meeting or event and then telling your child you are feeling nervous about it. What should you do? They will probably tell you to take a deep breath and you will do great. You can thank them after and say that was really helpful.

*Please give a gentle round of applause too…*

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Another way is finding a challenge you think your child is going to face, find a version of it that you’re grappling with, and seek their guidance on it. You take in a little bit of what I said previously but make it more personal. Then, whenever they start having a challenge that relates to advice, you can remind them that their advice helped you, and they should try it themselves.

Overall, there are many ways to include your child and make them feel heard, and that their voice matters. Just remember that your child looks up to you and loves you. If you've ever felt great when your boss says good job and uses your advice, think about how much of a bigger effect it will have on your child. Being able to listen is the first step, but taking action and including your child in issues and decisions will give them confidence as they grow and feel respected by their parent.

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