SOUL TALK – PARENTING – WHAT CHILDREN WANT FROM PARENTS
by Nancy Brooks Detweiler on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 1:36pm
My granddaughter, Abigail, and I use to spend hours writing and illustrating stories. When she was in the 5th grade, I got permission to allow her to contribute to a 2-3 minute radio talk show segment on parenting from a child’s point of view. Below is the written version we presented over the radio. It was Abigail’s radio debut.
Series Copyright 1999
Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
Q: What can parents do in order to be more effective with our youth?
A: In order to answer this question, my granddaughter Abigail and I spoke with several of her classmates. We present this SOUL TALK in a conversational format, relating the observations of fifth graders. Listen, parents!
Nancy: Tell me, Abigail, the most important thing a parent can do?
Abigail: The most important thing is to tell you that they love you so you do not feel lonely and that you are just there for no purpose. If your parents don’t tell you that they love you, you start to believe that something is wrong with you and that no one else will like you either.
Nancy: So it is important for parents to say, “I love you” in such a way that makes you like who you are. Give me another example of what parents can do.
Abigail: They can listen to what you have to tell. It is good to ask, “What did you do today?” so they know what’s happening with you.
Nancy: And that gives parents the opportunity to know who you are as an individual person. Give me another reason it is important for parents to listen to their children.
Abigail: When they are too busy to listen, you feel you have no one to talk to. It feels like no one cares what’s happening with you. This makes you feel alone and that you have to do something big to get attention. Most of the time, that’s something bad.
Nancy: That’s true and it’s so much better for parents to want to “be present with” the child.
Abigail: Yeh, like playing games together or helping you practice for something.
Nancy: How does parents “being present with” the child make you feel?
Abigail: Wanted … as if you are somebody!
Abigail: What do you think is good for parents to do with their children?
Nancy: From the point of view of SOUL TALK, parenting is a major avenue of soul growth. It offers the perfect opportunity to learn the lessons of selflessness, unconditional love, and cultivating an environment in which each child is encouraged to develop according to his/her unique talents and interests. Children and parents contracted, before taking on a physical body, to assist each other in enhancing soul growth. The learning process is reciprocal. For example: a powerful, assertive Mom has a gentle, artistically talented daughter. In learning not to be overly dominant with her daughter, the Mom can enhance her ability to be gentle. The daughter’s soul very likely chose her Mom in order to learn how to be more assertive. As the two learn from each other, their souls acquire a state of balance between assertiveness and receptivity that is indicative of spiritual maturity. The examples of mutual soul growth between parent and child are innumerable.
In summary, parents, your children would have you view them as equal, yet unique, members of the family with whom you talk in depth, with whom you spend quality time, and to whom you frequently say, “I love you” by your words as well as the respect you show them as individuals. Each parent and each child has an integral role to play in the overall divine plan for humanity. Wise parenting allows the child to unfold in ways that are expressive of that soul’s desires and purposes for physical incarnation.
Thank you, Abigail, for your assistance with SOUL TALK. I love you.
Abigail: I love you too, Grandma Nancy.
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