Clear, Loving Communication

by | Jun 10, 1998 | Communication, Parenting

He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him (Proverbs 18:13).

“I can’t get a handle on my problems, Neil,” Ruth complained. “I know my children are struggling at school, but they won’t share it with me. Why won’t they talk to me?”

“Do you really want to know, Ruth?”

“Of course!”

“They probably don’t feel they can trust you,” I responded.

“What do you mean they can’t trust me? I’m their mother!”

“Let me illustrate,” I said. “Suppose your 15-year-old daughter came home one day and said that her best friend was taking drugs. What would you say to her?”

Ruth paused for a moment, then said, “I’d probably tell her to find another friend.” “Exactly! And that’s why she doesn’t share that kind of information with you.”

Like a lot of parents, Ruth was in the habit of reacting to her kids before she knew what was really going on. Two or three reactions like this from you and your child is ready to clam up forever. Whenever your child tells you about “my friend’s problem,” there is a very good chance that he’s the one with the problem. He will drop little hints about his “friend” to see your reaction. If you are hasty and judgmental, you can bet he won’t share any more. You must listen without judgment and hold the advice until you are sure you know the whole story.

Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers


Clear, Loving Communication