Want To Be An Even Better Parent? Here’s A Tip


Want To Be An Even Better Parent? Here’s A Tip

By Donovan Grant

Does someone you know talk too much? You know the type of person who has always got something to say about anything. And what’s worst about it is that they often interrupt you when you want to speak.

How does it feel when this happens to you?

For most of us, when someone interrupts us in mid-sentence we tend to let it go. But every now and then we put our stake in the ground and say “hey I haven’t finished yet!” This works sometimes, but unfortunately there are some people, who just can’t help them selves.

After catching myself interrupting a few times last week, it made me realise that we all do it from time to time. It did get me thinking, “I wonder what it’s like when a parent does this too their children on a regular basis.”

Just imagine the scene where a teenager comes rushing in from a hard day at school and they start to share some great news with you. Then you being the wise old parent, butts in before they finish and tell how them a similar story you had when you were their age.

How often do you finish your children’s sentences? Now let’s be clear this is not about ‘teaching granny how to suck eggs’, the thing is that we don’t always realise that we are doing it.

When a parent has a habit like this, it does have some negative effects; you can lose a bit of the respect and love that your children have for you. Another thing is that it takes up takes a lot of your energy to keep jumping in like that. What does that mean? Well thinking for yourself is one thing, but when you start thinking for your children too this can be draining for you.

If you think again about the teenager coming home all excited, it could easily be your own joy, love and enthusiasm flowing out. But could you be stepping on their enthusiasm without realising it?

There are of course other situations where your teen has fallen short of the home rules. They try to give you an explanation and you shut them off without hearing the whole story.

By doing a quick Google search this afternoon, it seems that this is a common occurrence from many teen perspectives. Now we all know that teens are going to be biased about us parents, don’t we? However, could it be that we parents just have an innocent habit? We do not intend to annoy or upset our children; it’s something we by accident because we love them so much.

Okay, here’s a question to ask yourself….”Do I give my child a fair hearing?”

The answer will be private for you, but remember this- To a teen a fair hearing is a chance for them to try to show that they are growing more responsible. It gives them the chance to show they can be trusted to make decisions. It builds their self-belief when they know that mum and dad are willing to listen to them.

One key of grooming our children for success in life is sharing the art of conversation. Even in this digital age that we are in, people connect with people. How our children communicate and interact with others will have a big say in how successful they are too.

So when you have a quiet moment and you ponder… does my teen share their news with me anymore? If the answer is yes, that’s awesome. If not, then maybe something has caused them too close down the channels. Can they be opened up again? Yes they can, but it will take some work and plenty of patience.

There is no genie in a bottle for parenting, but here are 3 tips that parents can use every day to help keep in communication with their teens are:

#1 Practice being an active listener

#2 Show genuine interest in what your children are saying

#3 Wait until they finish speaking before saying anything

If you are able to 
follow through and practice these tips over the coming weeks, it will make a big difference in your parental conversation. It may even feel like you have stumbled into a temple that held the keys to the secrets of the parenting. The best bit is that your teen will once again look sharing with you because you are a great listener.

It's a blessing to be able to share with you and serve you every day! 


What do you think? Now it’s time to join the discussion with your thoughts about communication with teenagers. Leave your questions and comments in the box below!

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com 

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  • We as parents can create so many strange habits t  we don’t even realize that we do that. It is good that you awake us and to show us that we need to stop some of them and even better yet, don’t even start them. Thanks Donovan!

  • Hi Donovan…so true, active listening skills are very much an art which must be mastered to communicate effectively…Thank you for sharing! …Hughie 🙂