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How to Effectively Cut Off Communication with Your Children

Being a mom is hard. But it’s also one of the most rewarding jobs in the world! Homeschooling moms invest so much time and energy into our kids! We make so many sacrifices and pour so much into our children. That’s why today we want to celebrate homeschool moms!

We’re sharing an opportunity for homeschool moms to win one of five $100 gift cards to (your choice of) Hobby Lobby, Christianbook.com, a grocery store of your choice, or a restaurant of your choice. I hope you’ll read the article and then enter our giveaway toward the bottom of the article. We are happy to have a part in blessing five homeschool moms this Mother’s Day! 

One of the hardest things parents do each day is find ways to effectively communicate with our children. This tongue-in-cheek article is all about ways to effectively cut off communication with your children. In reality, though, we want to help you keep those lines of communication open.

Our hope is that you’ll communicate well with your children, have good relationships with them, and have a happy and successful homeschool. To find out more, keep reading!

And please be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this article. There, you’ll find out how to enter for your chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to (your choice of) Hobby Lobby, Christianbook.com, or the grocery store or restaurant of your choice. 

How to Effectively Cut Off Communication with Your Children

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 1000 times:  Homeschooling is as much about building relationships as it is about learning.

And I agree with that.  Totally.

communication

But there’s no question that relationship building is dependent upon good communication.  And we can count on it – whenever there’s a breakdown in communication, relationships will suffer. And when relationships suffer, learning usually suffers with it.

One of the highest goals of homeschooling, in many opinions, is maintaining strong relationships within the family. Why? Because it encourages learning and good decision-making in our children (among other benefits). If that’s true, and I believe it is, then it’s important to be careful never to contribute to that breakdown in communication, which is all too easy to do sometimes.

4 Tips for Effectively Cutting Off Communication with Your Children

So if you’re looking to cut off communication with your children, (and I realize you aren’t, but hang with me here,) then I have some great tips for doing so effectively!

  • Tip #1: Always be too busy to listen to your kids’ story-telling.

I’m hearing the groans of moms everywhere who have at least one (and maybe more!) of those chatterbox kids who never stop talking and telling stories.  Never.  You go through your day longing, desperately, for some brief space of silence in the day, but it almost never comes.

No, I’m not here to condemn you or pile on guilt for not listening to every. single. story.

But I am encouraging you to listen as much as you can, and with as much interest as you can, engaging your children where possible.

Because it matters to kids.

When we show interest in what they have to tell us, it builds their confidence, confirms to them our love, and sharpens their communication skills in remarkable ways.

  • Tip #2: Always minimalize your children’s problems and concerns.

Okay, I realize we grownups are dealing with grown-up life problems like electric bills, busted radiators, and possible layoffs.  That makes it easy for us to roll our eyes at the tweenager grieving over the party she wasn’t invited to or the 6-year-old whose world has crumbled because he has lost his favorite plush dinosaur.

But, honestly, sometimes we need to stop and think back to when we were 12 and we were the only one not invited to a party.  It was devastating!  To the mind and experience of a 12-year-old, it was the worst thing that could ever happen!  And the same with a lost dinosaur.

We should be so thankful for that.  It means our kids are safe, that they are protected, and that they aren’t experiencing a lot of the pain and grief and suffering so prevalent in other parts of the world.  Thank God for that!

But they need to know that their struggles matter to us–even the ones that seem so silly and self-indulgent to our grown-up hearts and minds.  After all, how can we expect our kids to come to us with their serious, grown-up problems if all we ever did was belittle and ignore their childhood ones?

  • Tip #3: Never bother to live by the things you say.

Sometimes we’re big talkers, but actually abiding by the things we say is another story.  We demand honesty in our children, but they see us “tweak the truth” ourselves whenever we deem it necessary.

They hear our tirade about a matter of right and wrong only to watch us cave on the issue when our stand places us in a difficult position or threatens to hurt our reputation. They put full confidence in our promises to them only to have us “amend” those promises when fulfilling them becomes more complicated than we had expected.

When our children see constant discrepancies in what we say and what we do, it will affect free and open communication.  For one, their trust in us and their willingness to believe anything we say will be damaged.  But it’s also likely they’ll learn to implement their own policy of “say one thing, do another.” Meaning, of course, that not only will YOU not be able to trust them, nobody else likely will either. 

  • Tip #4: Shut them down the moment they say something contrary to your own beliefs.

Whether the subject is personal, political, or even religious, sometimes we think we’re doing our children a favor by immediately and completely shutting down any opposition to our accepted beliefs.

They may challenge a certain political stance or express doubts about a doctrinal issue of the church, and our way of dealing with it is to cut them off.  After all, you have to nip that “rebellion” in the bud, and certainly our loud, abrupt, “No!  That’s not right!” is all they need to hear to be fully convinced.

Except that we are far better off allowing our children to express their true thoughts and feelings to us than demanding outward conformity that has never touched the heart.

I certainly don’t mean that we encourage or excuse rebellion, but, then again, sincere questions, though we often feel very threatened by them, are not rebellion.  And isn’t it better to have a child look at us and say, “Mom, I don’t know if I believe in God anymore,” than for them to pretend that they do, just because they know they’ll get nothing but grief from us if they say what they’re really thinking?

Instead, when we ask questions in return, delving into the source of the doubts and spending time coming up with answers in an interested, uncondemning way, it keeps communication open. And that certainly gives us greater opportunity to direct our children’s beliefs a certain way. It also encourages them to think critically to find answers to the questions that plague their minds.

I hope you’ll use these tips (Well, actually, I hope you DON’T use these tips!) so you can keep communication between yourself and your children open and honest. I think you’ll find it’s not only best for your relationships but that it also makes your homeschool much more fun and productive.

Are you being careful to keep communication with your children open?  What bad habits have you seen that cut off communication between moms and their kids? What good habits can you add to this list to help us keep communication open?

How to Enter the Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is right around the corner – a day to celebrate moms and make them feel extra special and appreciated. To hopefully make your Mother’s Day even better and more memorable, I’ve gotten together with a great group of bloggers to give away FIVE $100 gift cards!!

The winner gets to choose between a gift from Hobby Lobby, Christianbook.com, a grocery store of choice, or a restaurant of choice. 

It’s our hope and prayer that we will add to your blessing this Mother’s Day and also show you just how much we appreciate you, our mom readers.

To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries. And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are at winning!

Giveaway ends May 6th at 11:59pm EDT.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email to claim the prize. By entering this giveaway you will be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway. By entering the giveaway, you agree and acknowledge your understanding of the terms & conditions.

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About the author

Tanya H

Tanya is a servant to Christ, wife to a great man, and homeschooling mom to four amazing kids in north central Kentucky. She once insisted she would never homeschool, but God wore down her defenses until now, 8 years later, she can’t imagine her life without the added joy of homeschooling. When she isn’t helping with math, folding laundry, or sweeping the remnants of the last school project up off the kitchen floor, you’ll find her tucked away somewhere with a spoonful of cookie butter in hand, typing away on her laptop or crying over a Dickens novel.

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