Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29
It’s important that we teach our children that they have a voice, that they can speak up. The old adage, “children should be seen and not heard” is absolutely false!
Your child needs to find their voice for a lot of reasons, but how about these for starters?
- To speak up against bullies
- To confront the coach or teacher with questions (i.e. fight their own battle)
- To express their feelings when faced with an uncomfortable situation
- To speak up against an adult who tries to do something wrong to your child.
Finding your voice has nothing to do with whether your child is an introvert or extrovert. It simply means that your child has the confidence to express their thoughts and feelings, even when going against the grain of others.
One way to help your child do that is to ask them open-ended questions:
What do you feel about ______?
What are you thinking about ______?
What did you not like about _______?
What was your favorite part of ______?
And then after your child has answered, refrain from judging or even making a commentary on what they said. That response will eventually cause them to shut down their voice.
Your goal should be to create an environment at home where your child feels it is safe to express thoughts, emotions and opinions that are said respectfully, of course. It’s okay to disagree with each other, but again, do it in a respectful way. “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I don’t see it that way; here’s my take.”
Once your child feels they can talk without you critiquing everything, they will begin to gain confidence in their own words and in their own voice.
Is your child struggling to find their voice and you’re not sure how to help? I’m an life coach for parents and I can help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org