Lesson 58: Gadgets will not help in building parent-child relationship, CONVERSATION will





It has been a trend where parents and children bring along phones or tablets when they have family outings. Only the screen attracts their eyes. No one would like to talk to each other. Problems arise when parents wish to speak to their children.


Parent asks, "How was school?"


The child would say, "Ok."


As a result, the conversation ends and the child would just stare at the screen. Many parents find it hard for them to break the wall between them and the children. Kenny's mum was one of them.


Kenny's parents were divorced and currently he was staying with his mother. Kenny's mum was a very busy career woman who usually worked until midnight. When she went home, Kenny usually felt asleep. She felt so sorry for him and thus gave him a comfortable life. He tended to get whatever he wanted including phone and tablet. 


Awkward Silent
When this busy mummy finally could spend some time with her son, she was dissatisfied when her son did not talk to her. She complained, "It wasn't easy for me to spend time with him, how could he just play that tablet? He just simply replied 'ok' whenever I asked him questions." 
"Owh! That's terrible! What did you ask him?" 
"How was school, how was homework, how was friend... hmm... these kind of questions. His respond was very indifferent. " She replied earnestly.
"Well, I guess he did not put the tablet down, right? When he was playing game, it is normal that he did not give you any responses. In addition, you seldom have time to chat with him, so I guess he also found it hard to speak to you." 
Having difficulty to converse with children is a common problem facing by most of the parents among our clients. Most of them were busy with their career and did not have time for their children. Therefore, they could only attend to the children's needs and even bought phone and tablet for the children to spare their free time.

Recently there was a Thai advertisement which reflected this scenario: a couple of parents brought their 5-year-old son to the shopping complex to buy a tablet. To their surprise, the promoter wanted them to take the tablet after 7 years and said, "He is still young so he should spend time with you guys in order to experience love and affections." Indeed it is true. Regardless of how well the gadget, building an intimate parent-child relationship is still beyond the gadgets' limit. 



I care therefore I converse 
Hence, I suggested Kenny's mummy, "Why not you try to converse with Kenny every night before he sleeps? I understand that you are busy so you don't have to force yourself to converse for a long period. Perhaps 5 to 10 minutes will do. Instead of academic stuff, you can try to talk about other things. As long as you show your concern, I'm sure that he will feel it."

A few weeks later, when Kenny came to the class, I was surprised that he took the initiative to say "Hi!" to me. He had been quite for the past few weeks even when I greeted him, he did not respond to me. However, now he could say "Hi" to me! I felt amaze and called his mum. 
His mum was happy too at the other end, " That's great! You suggested to converse with him 10 minutes each night, right? I actually chit-chat for 30 minutes each night. We could talk about almost everything as well as the problems that we faced and our feelings. Now I can say that I understand him more and get the chance to encourage him when he had problems. It is not awkward anymore for us." 
What is the key to being harmonious? It is to resolve issues through conversing. (Joshua J) 

Conversation and sharing session each night had strengthen parent-child relationship as well as trust. Therefore, conversation is the golden key to parent-child relationship. 


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