Kids & Family:Parenting
S5-Ep201 - Enjoy the Awkward Pause
I was recently out at the store and a stranger asked my child if they liked the fruits that we were picking out in the produce section. Now some kids are happy to speak their mind, but a lot of kids, including mine, clam up at the thought of answering in public. There have been occasions where they look to me, and others where they just look down.
So what do you do in these types of situations? And how big of a deal do you put on your child responding? I think these are crucial questions – a sort of ‘midterm test’ on your parenting skills.
And I’ll give you the answer – or at least my best answer – no one gets to sit in an ivory tower and claim to give all advice and take none.
My answer is to Let your kids speak for himself. And often in my case, there’s a lot of silence. And I wait patiently, and sometimes say “it’s ok to answer” very softly. And it might be awkward and it might take an extra long time for them to answer, but it's for the best. That little prompt is teaching social ques. This is what we thought we’d be good at – explaining how to navigate the world and others.
And if she won't answer at all then this is a teaching moment for ourselves. We can give a short answer to the person asking the question, but the main goal here is acceptance. Accept that your kids was too shy, in the moment, to speak. And that you still love them. Don't berate them to 'give adults answers! Or respect your elders!" Your family unit is your team, don’t let them down. And this is a great team building exercise with little consequences other than some awkward pauses. So next time your child clams up – offer some reassurance, and enjoy the awkward pause. Family First!!
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