Ever since my daughter was a toddler, we’ve had conversations. While 2-year-old conversations look much different from 10-year-old conversations, the purpose and the heart behind them were always the same. I wanted my daughter to draw close to me.
Here are 4 things I’ve learned from talking with my daughter every day.
1. She Listens More Than I Think She Does
I remember thinking, “Does she hear anything I say, like ever?” I know for a fact that many moms feel this way, and perhaps you do too. We constantly talk to our children all day via commands, statements, and questions. In the craziness of life, it’s easy for us to forget there’s more to having a relationship with our children. We talk to our children all day long. But, do we talk with our children?
When I have organic conversations with my daughter, she ends up talking about something I said ages ago or something she heard randomly. This is a great way for me to know she is listening! Then, I can talk with her about these things she’s hearing. If I don’t talk with her, I’ll never know. I’ll miss out on so much.
2. Conversations Need To Happen Daily
There are times when I don’t talk with my daughter as much as I’d like. But, I’m focusing on quality conversation, not necessarily quantity. When she was little, I focused on quantity because I was training a routine; a habit of daily conversations with Mom. Now, it’s weird if we don’t have one.
We don’t have a specific scheduled “talk time” because of how early I started that habit with her. In order to cultivate this habit, I also:
- Make conversation inviting – I want her to always come to me with the good things and the bad. Sometimes when I know she needs to talk, I’ll make tea, coffee, or sweets and create an atmosphere of comfort.
- Try to reduce negative reactions – During the course of conversation, I try not to interrupt with my own thoughts and opinions.
- Re-think criticism of her thoughts – Children have stress and emotions just like adults. I let her share her thoughts with me and then use Scripture and experience to guide her thinking on the topic.
If I want my children to delight in sharing their hearts with me, I must make myself and our home a haven for that.
3. The Littlest Things Have An Impact
I’ve learned the littlest things have the biggest impact. Children are so impressionable; so moldable. The young years are critical for teaching, habit-forming, conversation building, and so much more.
The Tongue Is Powerful
I quickly discovered that my tone and my words have the power to encourage my daughter or break her down. While I am her mother, I also hope to be her best friend one day. I have to protect that relationship. Just the other day, she said, “Mom, I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I decided to try that…..” Oh, sweet music to my ears!! I love knowing my impact is positive with my children.
On the flip side, I’ve also seen what the negative things do. When I’m in a hurry and she’s not moving fast enough, I get short and stressed out with her. Or, when I’ve asked her 5 times to pick up her room and she doesn’t do it, I get angry. When this happens, I must humbly ask her for forgiveness and restore our relationship.
Ultimately, this shows my daughter a beautiful picture of restoration between us and God.
4. We Are Developing A Beautiful Relationship
My daughter and I have grown closer over the years. While she’s still only 12-year-old, I see a lovely maturity forming in her every day. The more I notice this, the more I want to work harder each day to strengthen it.
I love that I’m the first one she comes to for advice or to just talk through an issue. I love that she randomly says, “I just want to be with you.”
Nurturing a habit of daily conversations will make a huge impact in the relationship with your children. This doesn’t matter if you’re away from your children or they’re underfoot in the house all day.
It’s never too late to cultivate a habit of conversation in your home. How do you connect and have conversations with your children?