One way we demonstrate love to our children is by monitoring our tone. This is so important. Your tone sets the “tone” for any communication – be it with a business partner, spouse, child, neighbor, student, anyone! When we monitor our tone with our children our communication is heard and internalized differently. Many of you parents know just as I do that when our tone is nasty or sarcastic or mean or indifferent, our child shuts off. It doesn’t matter if what you are saying is important or meaningful, if you say it with anger or mockery you defeat yourself and lose your child. Moreover, your child stops believing you really love them because your love becomes associated with your tone, your lack of control over your emotions and the harsh way you communicate with them.
Keeping your tone monitored is part and parcel of keeping your emotions in check with your children and others when you communicate. Staying in control of your emotions is a must in order to be effective. Find the time to calm yourself before you have the communication. As much as you think you have to, YOU DO NOT have to have the conversation right at that moment most of the time. Take a couple minutes. Walk away and find the way to calm yourself. When you return, you must have some softness in your eyes, a calm tone, and relaxed body language – then, and only then, what you say will be heard and more importantly, believed!!!! You love your child. You must show that in your communication – not the anger and hostility and irritation you may be feeling because of a choice they made or attitude they have. Separate those choices and attitudes from your love for your child.
Over time, when you stay concentrated on loving your child, communicating that love through tone and emotional control, the relationship with your child flowers. Give them room, slowly, as they are able to accept more responsibility, and over time, your relationship with your older children will start to morph into a deep friendship. Parenting is never completed. it is perfected over time.
Thank you Kimberly Hahn for your loving words.