Being Critical of What Our Children Tell Us
It’s undeniable that we should always listen to our children and give them full attention when they want to tell us something. However, everything they tell us isn’t always true, so we must gradually learn to be critical of what our children tell us.
What do our children tell us?
What children tell their parents is closely linked to the characteristics of the parent-child relationship that exists between them. There are children who feel they can talk about many topics with their parents, and there are others who don’t.
In any case, it’s the parents’ responsibility to promote a good relationship between them and their children. It’s also their responsibility to encourage open and honest communication so that their children express how they feel, what they do, who they hang out with, what their interests and needs are, etc.
Even if your communication is good and fluid, parents should take certain precautions when they hear what their children tell them. Sometimes, children hide the truth from their parents or misrepresent it.
This depends on our children’s ages and many causes can be responsible for it; such as them feeling like they’re not doing the right thing or getting along with people who may be negatively influencing their behavior and attitude, which encourages risky actions in relation to drugs, alcohol, or reckless driving. It can also be due to other causes, like their school performance.
For this reason, we should always be very critical of what our children tell us and not believe everything we hear. It may all be relative and many factors are at play, such as their age, personality, peer group, etc. We have to listen with attention, love, and respect, but always call into question everything they tell us.
Learning to be critical: should we believe everything our children tell us?
Here are some tips for us to learn to be critical of what our children tell us:
- Always ask for more information than they provide us in order to verify or confirm the truth of what they tell us.
- Talk, question, and communicate with their friends and classmates. This will also provide us with information to corroborate and substantiate that what our children tell us is true.
- Reach agreements and negotiate with them to provide us with objective data. For example, their school grades or the location of where they are and who they’re with when they leave.
- As embarrassing as a topic may seem, we should discuss everything with them. Whether it’s drugs, sex, boyfriends or girlfriends, going out, ways to have fun, jokes, fears, shame, or fashion. The more confident they feel talking about everything with their parents, the calmer they’ll be telling them the truth.
- Always be in contact with other adults, including their friends’ parents, all the staff members of the school they attend, or the places where they frequently play sports, practice a hobby, or play an instrument.
In order for us to be critical of what our children tell us, it’s essential that our communication with them be constant, fluid, and deep. This communication has to be based on mutual trust.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Bernal, A., Rivas, S., Urpi, C. (2012). Educación familiar: infancia y adolescencia. Editorial Pirámide. Madrid.