Kids

10 Ways Parents Kill Conversation

10 Ways Parents Kill Conversation www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Lori Wildenberg

I love talking with my young adult children. I appreciate it when they share their thoughts, beliefs, dreams, and life with me.

I want a relationship with my kids that lasts a lifetime.

Over the years I’ve realized there are 10 things to avoid if I want to keep those conversations going and our relationships thriving. 

10 Conversation Killers 

Talk over my kids. Instead I need to listen and be respectful of their point of view if I want them to be respectful and listen to mine. Being a conversation bully builds a wall between me and my children. 

Embellish or exaggerate. Once I head down the exaggeration road, there is no turning back. My kids will quit listening. My thoughts, no matter how valid, will be lost in the embellishment black hole. 

Talk as if my opinion is fact. If I dogmatically present my preferences as fact and belittle opposing ideas, my kids will tune me out. Thankfully they have learned to distinguish between objective fact and subjective opinion. It’s okay if they think differently than I do. It is good for parents and their young adults to discuss and disagree agreeably. 

Blame others for my challenges, struggles, or failures. If I make excuses and blame others rather than take the responsibility for failure and learn from it, I lose all credibility. 

Major in the minors. Complaining and whining  about life when things don’t go my way makes me look like a wimp or worse… a nit-picker and nagger.  All my kids will hear is blah, blah, blah. 

Gossip. My kids’ eyes glaze over if I start talking about other people. They don’t want to hear that stuff and I shouldn’t be talking like that. There are way more interesting things to discuss. 

Judgmental attitude. Discernment is a good thing but a judgmental attitude shuts down a verbal exchange and builds defenses in the other person.Conversations peppered with humility and honesty regarding right and wrong, good and bad prove to provide parental insight into the young person’s world. 

Be easily offended.  When we are easily offended we put the other person in the position of having to explain or defend. Why not assume the best? Ask the child what he means before jumping to a conclusion. 

Be negative. Who wants to listen to a negative person? Who wants to hear another person  poke holes in a dream? Who wants to be put in the position of always having to build up  or point out the positive? Negativity is an energy sucker. 

Interrogation. Lots of questions, fired one after another feels intrusive to the receiver. If I use  interrogation in conversation my children will shut down and  seek to protect their privacy.  

Conversations that contain the qualities of kindness, authenticity, and respect build that relational bridge we want with our young adult kids. We may not always see eye-to-eye but we can still converse– with love– face-to-face. 

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, 
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2

What  have you discovered stalls conversations with your kids? What jump starts them? 

With faith, hope, and love,

Lori Wildenberg

Click here to contact Lori for parent consulting or connect with her to have her speak at your next event. Lori blogs weekly over at Eternal Moments

If you found this post helpful and you have a tween to young adult you may want to head over to Amazon and pick up Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love.  

About the author

Lori Wildenberg

Lori Wildenberg co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting and Licensed Parent and Family Educator is passionate about coming alongside parents and encouraging them to parent well. She loves mentoring moms and dads and speaking on the topic of parenting. She is co-author of 3 parenting books including the recently published Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love. Lori lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. Visit http://www.loriwildenberg.com or http://www.1Corinthians13Parenting.com for more information.

1 Comment

  • I am near having young adult kids. I can’t imagine having trouble getting them to talk to me though. Everybody is jockeying for talking time at my house in the evenings. I do think they are different than most teens from what I hear from other parents. My 4th child will be a struggle when we get to that point.