As a child my parents would give me an order and I would execute. When I got older especially in my teenage years like most other teenagers I ended up putting a bit more resistance but at the end of the day I did as my parents wished.
Too much explaining
On occasions I run into situations where I see parents explaining a bit more than they should have. On my side my daughter is still too young for asking any questions but when it comes to that point I really want to have the adequate balance of getting my message through without ending up a slave of explaining every single detail.
Is it Curiosity or a test of patience?
Some kids are extremely curious and I do think that when it comes to curiosity and for the sake of your children learning you need to explain. On other occasions a series of questions are unleashed for the purpose of the child trying to work against an adult’s patience to get his way. In many occasions I see how children test an adult’s patience in some the adults gives in and grants the child what he wants, in others the adult decides to cut the conversation short.
Cutting the conversation short
That would have been my parents approach and one that I will follow. By cutting the conversation short after giving an explanation of the situation you are sending the message that you are the parent and in charge. It is a technique used even in the military. I remember as a service member and Non Commissioned Officer the quickest way to get something done was by giving direction and making sure they executed. There will be exceptions where you might feel to keep the conversation going and that is completely healthy. My view is on how parents continue to explain even when they feel they should stop.
Disclosing Too Much
Some parents continue to explain further than what the child actually needed. Just as we adults see things using a different lens, children have a different perspectives as well.
I’ve seen how family and friends have put themselves in uncomfortable situations when they misinterpret their child’s question. Sometimes as adults we have our mind made up on what will happen next. Children live more at the moment. They might surprise us with a question that can be misinterpreted by the adult. Make sure you listen well to your kid, and when you don’t seem to understand the question, ask a few of your own, to make sure you answer the right thing.
What advice would you give other parents when a tough question is asked? What has been your approach?
Have you been in the presence of an adult that explains much more than he/she should?