Getting your child to talk to you or open up about something is not what you can achieve in a twinkle of an eye. But yes, for your child to open up, it depends on the level of connection you two have.
When I say connection, it simply means that it’s something you build way before time.
A child that’s not well bonded with you can never be open to tell you some things he or she considers secret.
The connection is easily built where there is good communication.
And to be a good communicator, you have to master the skill of communication.
9 Ways to get your kids or children open up
1.You must be a good listener:
Children are prone to talk and ask lots of questions. It’s your responsibility as a parent to listen to your child even in the smallest conversation.
Sometimes, it may seem to be a very unimportant or “useless” question. Notice that the phrase useless is in quotes, this is a clear indication that what seems useless to you is very useful to your child and your answer or reaction to the question passes a whole lot of message to your child.
Listening is the major factor that evaluates your level of communication.
Most parents do not have patience enough to listen to their children, that’s why they cut short the child and once there’s an interference, the child wouldn’t go further.
Hence, while listening,
A.Avoid cutting words from your child’s mouth:
Allow the child to finish up what he or she has in mind. Don’t assume you already know where the child is heading to. You might be surprised that what you had thought is totally wrong. So, allow your child to talk. All you need to do is just to LISTEN.
Now, there’s what I call ACTIVE LISTENING
While you listen, make sure to engage where your child needs it. Don’t just say, keep talking I’m listening. This will make it boring for your child and there won’t be any other choice than to halt.
Be sure to make the conversation an interesting one.
2..Ask questions where necessary: Most importantly, avoid asking judgemental questions.
No matter what it is your child is talking about, don’t react harshly or ask questions that could prompt the end of the discussion.
3.Dont be too quick to advise or bring in suggestion:
Your child could just need to pour out his or her heart out. Probably, it’s been piled up throughout the day, so, there’s a need to get freed up.
Allow that to happen.
Instead of advising, ask your child any of these questions,
Oh, I see this really sucks you up, What are your plans towards it?
I understand how mad you are now, How do you want to handle it?
4.Maintain a very good atmosphere:
This is where the need for emotional intelligence plays its role. Your facial or body expression matters a lot. You must keep the atmosphere safe for the conversation to continue.
Imagine a situation, where your child comes to tell you that he wants to be a gay, or that she’s being attracted to ladies only.
Of course, this could spur up negative emotions immediately and you would want to react.
The trigger here isn’t really what your child said, but the parental ego that questions your value, suggesting to you that you have failed as a parent.
The ability to handle this without and letting the conversation continue is what is called emotional intelligence.
In such cases, use questions that require an answer that would keep the conversation going. Using the WH questions would only encourage defensive answers.
So, instead of asking Why would you choose that? Or How could you say such after all I have taught you?
You should rather say This is really very challenging. You must have thought about it for you to decide that now. Would you mind sharing with me your reasons?
Or Wow! I’m really surprised(put a smiling face no matter how hard) , you must have a lot of reasons to think in this way. Tell me why you think so, maybe it’s a misunderstanding.
Responses like these would make your child relax and be more eager to talk. But when you react, your child would feel unease and would never want to speak anymore.
5.Have a Child and Me Time:
Make out time for your child each day. Spend quality time together.
Always engage in activities that interest your child and build a strong bond.
One of my favorite quotes in parenting IS Avail your presence more than your present because your presence matters more to your child is the best explanation for this.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just a minute that you spend together but let it memorable.
There are lots of activities you can do with your child depending on your child’s interest.
6.Don’t react angrily if you do not get an answer immediately:
Patience is one skill every parent must master. You must be patient enough with your child. Follow the child calmly. Don’t force words because when you do, you will only get a lie or cover-up.
Allow your child to be when it seems he or she is not ready to talk.
What you need to do is to use another approach.
An example of another approach is using a statement like this;
It’s OK, I will be in my room. When you’re ready to talk, just ring the bell.
7.Always be available and ready to listen:
Coming back from work and having a hectic day, then being welcomed with questions or trying to start a conversation, could be really overwhelming. This could make you shut your child, yell, or even use a harsh word.
Being available doesn’t really mean that even while you’re tired you must have to converse with your child.
There are better ways to handle such situations. Instead of halting a conversation that could open up to you what your child is passing through at the moment, being an avenue to instill your value in your child, rather Use a more positive response;
Please dear, I’m really so worn out now, could you please come back in ten minutes’ time?
Be specific with the time you’d be ready to talk. This would be more effective to give your child a sense of value.
8.Don’t always cast a blame on your child:
If you’re the type of parent that is very quick to blame your child for his or her mistakes, you are only giving your child the wrong signal that you’re not the best person to talk to.
You must avoid the urge to blame.
Always find out the reason for what happened and involve your child to think of the solution.
Readily show compassion towards your child. Let your child know that you understand his or her feelings.
Be empathetic enough to consider what your approach to the situation could result to.
In conclusion, your child can not open up to you if you don’t have a good connection.
You must intentionally build a great connection with your child through effective communication.
Note that communication doesn’t necessarily have to be words, there are also body or sign communication. Being an effective communicator means that you’re able to understand what sign language your child is expressing per time. And this can only be possible where connection or bond is great.
How to Deal with a Drop in Your Teen’s Grades
Dealing with a drop in your Teen’s grade is usually one of the challenges faced by parents. When there is a poor grade, complaining and worrying are bound to occur at a certain point as a parent. Poor performance in school is usually caused by several factors; some may be caused by the parents. A drop in grade is usually a predicament faced by many teens during high school.
Notwithstanding, it is very paramount to decipher these three things,
• The cause of the Low grades
• Why the low grades and
• How to tal
Here I’ll be sharing the steps to take when your college kid’s grades are slipping.
WAYS TO DEAL WITH A DROP IN YOUR TEEN’S GRADES
The first step to take is trying to visualize what might prompt the kid’s failure. Relocating to another apartment may make you change your teen’s school. A change in school might result in drop in grades. This is usually because the new school may have more brilliant students than the old school. Other causes of a drop in grade might be inadequate sleep, busy social life, too many house chores, spending so much time in school activities, etc. All of these could result in laziness, a lack of motivation, or distraction.
If the drop in grade is so sudden then quick action must be taken. It’s very important to analyze your child’s grades from time to time to see if there is a spontaneous or a slow drop in grade.
2.TRY TO FIND OUT THE ACTUAL CAUSE
Several years ago, I was working as Home Tutor. While I was doing my work, I encountered John who used to be a great mathematician in Primary school. When he entered high school, I noticed he started failing mathematics woefully. The painful part is that the parents of the boy never had the time to have one-on-one communication with him.
As a counselor, I spoke with him and he opened to me that all he wishes for, is to change school and I asked why? After much persuasion, I discovered that the hatred he had for his teacher in mathematic never allowed him to put his best in school.
Getting to know what’s actually wrong with the kid might be quite difficult because the child may seem perfect in everything that he does. He might be a person who doesn’t like asking questions in class.
It could take you a while to get the right answers. The best is to find a quiet time with the child and speak with him.
ALSO, READ The Dangers of Overscheduling Your Child
3.SPEAK TO THE SCHOOL
A fluctuation in the kid’s grade should not make you be a regular visitor to the school authority. A fluctuation may occur because there were so many people in competition at that particular time. The child’s grade may drop from Grade A to B. if the grades are sustained over a long time, then you’ll need to visit the teacher rather gun blazing or apportioning blames…
One good thing about teachers is that they are able to provide valuable insight of everything that is happening at school as regards the child. Talking to the teacher may provide a valuable solution.
4. GET A HOME TUTOR
Getting a home tutor is very important in a child’s academics. Many parents usually deploy this approach whether their child is performing very well or not, they see it as a necessity.
Get one if you feel you’re too busy, to give your kids academic attention, it would help a long way.
5.When there is an underlying issue
Other underlying issues may be bullying from other kids, emotional upset, depression, or anxiety. all of these are usually very difficult to communicate with parents and even teachers too.
A child that is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) may not perform very well in class. If after complaining to the school and you see no result, then visiting the doctor or a psychologist would be the best option.
6. MOTIVATE THEM DAILY
You might actually say, “is daily motivation really necessary? Yes, it is. Motivation is one of the Skeleton keys to Unlock good grades. it’s very annoying to see your child having this lackadaisical attitude towards their education, without any thought of the future. Motivating them is the best thing you can actually give in as parents, if you really care for your kids.
You can strategically give them these right tips on how to get back on their feet.
• Always give them the reasons to work hard.
A child’s good future is a better reward for parents. This is what they will always be thankful for. It is only left for you to make it or mar it. Make them see the reason to work hard to produce better results, not only in their academics but in other aspects of their lives.
• Make sure to tell them that hard work pays and it’s only the strong that will scale through.
• Always encourage them to do better in their study. If you can be there for them, do it diligently.
• Don’t ever be harsh on them. In this case, use good words and speak in a calm manner. Being harsh will only add more pain to your child, and they might see that all you care about is their performance and not their own happiness.
• Tell them to report to you whatever difficulties, they are facing in their school. This will give them room to open up to you and ask questions, they couldn’t ask their teachers. You need to be available for them too or create time for this.
• Encourage them to enter any educational competition or club. This will help them see other kids like them, doing what they are doing. It creates room for good achievements and good performance.
• Create family learning time. This is not actually easy to do, but it helps in motivating kids. When they see you reading, they will love to read too. It brings the family together and makes kids feel free to ask anything they don’t understand.
• Give them a puzzle to solve. There are a lot of puzzles you can give your kids like kids Sudoku 9*9, kids word search puzzle, kid hangman game, mosaics, pictures crossword game, shape puzzle, dot-to-dot puzzle, and many more.
These are the easiest ways to help kids master a lot of things within and outside their field. And this helps to improve their grades in school.
Reward here is promising them that “ if you come out the first position, or you get a good average point, I will do _______ for you”. Over 60% would do their best if they have been promised by the guardians. Always fulfill your promise and take them to somewhere that can add more value to them.
Besides, you don’t need to wait for them to come out well before rewarding them, you can do it occasionally just to say thank you for their support and obedience towards learning and life.
8. LEARN TO VALUE MISTAKES
Being angry that your child failed should not make you grow annoyed excessively. You should know that failure always a road to success. No man succeeds without experiencing any form of failure.
Don’t go overboard, shouting or smacking them for the drop in their grades rather find ways to make them accept responsibility to do well.
A WORD FROM RELATIONSHIPS SEEDS
A drop in grades is actually not something we should panic about, but something that needs our time to figure out what is actually the ‘cause’. Kids react to everything that happens within and outside their environment. That’s why they are kids.
Mental health professionals believe that when a child is emotionally down or meltdown, there must be something that triggers this reaction. Kids need time, care, love, attention, patience, and more for you to understand them.
You need to do your own part and so the teachers too. Always communicate with them and do the best for them.
ALSO, READ How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When do Babies Start to Walk?
When do babies start to walk? is a frequently asked question by most new parents around the world. Most times when we come across a baby crawling and cruising we tend to wonder when he/she will take the first step?
A child’s first year is full of events but the most anticipated one might be walking. Hence the question, “When will my baby start to walk.?”
When Should Babies Start to Walk?
Research has shown that babies usually take their first step between the 9th and 16th month. Not all babies start walking in the 9th month. Your first child might have walked when he was 10-months and probably you’re scared that the second is in its 13th month, but still crawling. The truth here is that every child reaches its milestone at a different time. There are several factors that may make a baby walk early or not. Of all, for your baby to start walking he/she must have contracted enough muscles.
The stages of walking
An old adage says, “for you to stand you must sit, for you to walk you must stand, and for you to run you must start walking.” This shows that life itself is in different stages. For a baby to start walking, he must have gone through and mastered other developmental milestones. These include:
For a baby to start walking, he must learn how to sit properly. Within the periods of the 6th month, your baby should start hacking the puzzle to sit upright, using the muscle in his trunk.
Around this time, the 6th month, you can start teaching your child how to sit. When trying to teach the baby how to sit, ensure you’re close enough to prevent falling.
Pulling to Stand
Pulling to stand varies among toddlers still; some may start this around the 10th month. The leg actually needs lots of energy for a pull to stand to occur because 70% of our body mass is fixed on the hip, so the legs need lots of energy to lift the torso.
This is when the child starts playing around the house with any furniture he/she sees. The time varies too for kids.
Holding your baby’s hands while walking would help to improve the coordination and balancing of the child. It also adds fun to the walking process. when your child starts holding your hand for him to walk, just know that he would start walking alone soon.
This is the final stage of completing the puzzle on how to walk. Usually, it starts with trying to move one leg forward and balancing the other leg. Here, the child may be falling too while trying to walk, but it’s all part of the process.
Why Do Babies Walk at Different Times?
One thing you should know is that babies also have emotions too. Some babies usually have this I can do it attitude; to them, the act of walking is a risk they are taking, and have to overcome. You can even perceive it, ranging from the way they interact with you, even as small as they are.
They don’t care if they fall. That’s why you’ll see some children fall as many times as possible when trying to walk. The beautiful part is that they see walking as one of the several fun things they do.
Not all babies have this type of personality, some also have the mentality of wait and see, an unintentional delay caused by fear of trying. These types are usually very cautious. This factor may be the reason why your child is delaying to walk.
Aside from this, there are other things too, which can affect the time it takes for babies to start walking.
• Birth Order:
Research has shown that babies tend to walk faster when they have older siblings around. So they may want to imitate what he/she is doing. It may be very difficult for your first child to start walking at 12months, but if you have other children let’s say from age 3-7, you’ll see your child become smarter. That’s why you see most children become smarter when they have older ones around to play with. That’s why it’s very important (and highly advised) for your child, even in the 8th month, to start school.
The bigger the size, the more difficult for the baby walking. This is because the baby would need to expend more energy to stand upright compared to one with a small stature.
Even when you look at fat people, you’ll notice that they may experience difficulty in walking or running at old age.
• Recurrent Ear Infections: If a child emerges in the 16th month and he’s not walking, then an investigation must be done concerning his health. Perhaps if he has experienced any ear infection. “An ear infection can throw off a baby’s balance and delay walking,” says Dr. Jensen.
A word from Relationshipseeds
Lack of nutrients may also bring delay in the walking puzzle of a child. When a child lacks calcium, it causes an almost permanent impedance to walk-ability. If you notice that after 17 months, you see no visible changes, then you should seek professional help. Meet a pediatrician, a child doctor.
How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When puberty shows up, teenagers often make so many wrong choices. Teenage age is a very sensitive period where teens want to explore, try new things, and all that. We are living in a world of technology where you can easily get access to anything you want online. Whether it is boyfriend, phone sex, porn clips, illicit materials, and so on.
These days Teens are so smart that they can keep a secret from you without you having a clue. Here, we’ll be looking at the signs that show your child is sexually active.
SIGNS YOUR TEENAGER IS HAVING SEX
1. Ask Your Teenager
One may say why would I ask? When you keep on shying away from asking questions like that things may not end well. when you finally decide to ask her that question, choose your words carefully, if you do it a threatening way, you may not get the answers you are seeking, instead, they will tell you lies out of fear.
This approach is a 50:50 because Teens love being secretive, if you’ve never had a deep conversation or you’re not very close with your child you can never get a YES ANSWER.
2. Provocative Dressing
Like I said in the beginning, the teenage age is an exploring age. When you see that your child starts dressing provocatively, it could mean that they’ve already eaten the forbidden fruit. Apart from the girls dressing seductively, the guys may also dress exposing their chests or buying a pink lips balm.
The adolescence stage is when teens become conscious of their appearance and body image. When the girls start having s*x, it usually gives them a heightened sense of maturity, this would make them pay more attention to whatever they wear.
3. More Secretive
When you notice that your child becomes more secretive than ever, it could be a sign that they are started having sex already. You’ll notice they hide their phone whenever they are operating it, use passworded phones; they also use coded language while chatting.
Being secretive is always associated with suspicious movements, such as coming home late, become overprotective about their privacy, because they don’t want you to find out. Even when they want to go out they always find it difficult to tell you where they are going. They will never make a phone call in your presence except it’s a family member that’s calling.
4. Check for Signs of Sexual Activity
Seeing condoms or contraceptives is a sign of sexual activity. It could mean that they are planning to have it or might have done it already. When you notice it, you don’t need to start boil, all you need is a conversation with your child to know what’s up.
When you see these tools in your child’s possession, it means that they are well equipped with the knowledge on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies or prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). So you have to educate them more about unwanted pregnancy, STI, and how having sex can destroy their dreams and career.
5. Behavioral Change
When a child starts doing something evil, you’ll notice that they either become more extroverted or introverted depending on their type of personality. Sometimes, they may become more stubborn. For instance, imagine your child of 18 having an affair with someone who’s 40years of age. The child might start disrespecting you and your partner.
Also, the child may become happier than before. Always try to notice and find out the reason(s) for their new behavior.
6. Keeping Tabs On You
They become too conscious of you. If they want to know where you are going and how many hours you will be spending. Similarly, they will want to know the number of days you are going to spend.
Occasionally, when you come too early, they’d become angry or anxious because they need more time to carry out what they want.
7. Poor Grades In School
The reason why it is not good for teens to engage in sexual activities is that they are not mature enough to handle what relationship or sex is all about. Sex and relationship can take your whole emotions and can drain you mentally.
I remembered when I fell in love during my 11th grade in high school. I can boldly confess that whenever I’m reading my books, I always see the picture of the girl I’m falling for. It took me 6weeks to get over her. When I was in love with her I could barely focus very well on my academics. Also, I’m very sure that I would have failed woefully in high school if I had dated her.
When a teen starts dating at a very young age, it will be very difficult to balance emotions and priorities properly. There are lots of distractions when your child starts premarital sex.
8. Being Involved In Their Life Regularly
The key to being involved in their life is communication. As a parent, there should not be a communication gap. Make your kids open up to you. Some kids might be very difficult or have hardened hearts, but you have to try your best.
Always make them know that you are available for them if any issue arises. With this, if they are facing sort of sexual humiliation they will be able to tell you faster than when you are far away from them.
9. Know Their Friends And Partner
An African adage says “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”. If you do well as a parent to know the character of your child’s friend you’ll be able to know the capability of your child. For example, if the friends of your child are all womanizer or involve in illicit sex, it a sign that your child could be sexually active.
What other signs do you think can point out a sexually active child?
ALSO, READ Exploring the different sexual location
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