How to win your child’s confidence

It’s the pride of any parent when your kids can confide in you, instead of relying on classmates, friends and even strangers for solace.
Parenting and family life coach and Elizabeth Ajetunmobi, said she has come to the painful realisation that children would only find solace in you when you make conscious efforts to bring them close, make them feel at home and be on the same page with you emotionally.

Invariably, these kids can only learn to confide in you if you take it upon yourself to let them in by making intentional efforts; because kids like the feeling of being seen as important and would gladly open up to you if you find their talks and stories intriguing.

Here are a few tips that have worked for Ajetunmobi, which parents should imbibe to get their children confide in them. Listen to them always – Children talk a whole lot, and as parents, we often get tired and overwhelmed by their tales and chats. Do not get overwhelmed; it simply comes with their nature, so brace up and polish your listening skills. Once they know that they have found a great listener in you, they would warm up to you naturally by opening up gradually.

Do not judge them – Practice empathy instead and let them feel that you can relate to whatsoever stories they decide to share with you. Do not be quick to chastise or judge them, as it would make them feel insecure about sharing their thoughts with you. However, if the need to correct them arises, do it in a way that they would appreciate and actually take these corrections. You could even encourage them to talk more by asking questions about stories they tell you. In this vein, they would feel inclined to open up to you more than before because you have shown them that you are concerned about them.

Pay attention to them – It would not be fair if after getting them to speak to you, you then decide to lose focus. Let them feel that they are being listened to and being given rapt attention. You could dedicate some hours into having heart to heart conversations with them regularly even if it means leaving every engagement just to attend to them fully. When they talk, try not to cut them short. Instead, take a mental note of all your feedback and then relay it to them as calmly and intentionally as possible when they finish expressing themselves.

Make yourself available to them – Children are like birds. They love a refuge when they need one and would gladly embrace anyone who is willing to hear them out. As a parent, you could be this person. You should make some time out to always hear them talk about school, their friends and other things they would like to share with you. Assure them with all steadfastness that you would be there whenever they need to talk about anything. Also, normalize spending ample time with your children from time to time. It shows them that you genuinely care about them.

Be Honest – The worst thing to do is not being open with your kids. Kids are answer-seekers and would go at any length to get their curiosities satisfied. Make it a point of duty to answer their questions honestly because if you don’t, they would seek these answers elsewhere which is very dangerous because in the bid to seek honest answers, they could stumble on highly prohibited pieces of information that might be unhealthy for them. So, try as much as possible to embrace them with the truth. Talk to them honestly about everything and try to make them understand the bone of contention in every subject matter.

Keep their information undisclosed – It is highly unnecessary to share information that has been told to you by your children to other people. Information they share with you should be private and personal. Telling a third party might hurt their feelings; hence they might develop a certain aversion towards opening up to you because they feel that the trust between you and them have been breached as I have seen this embarrass different kids.

Ajetunmobi added that for kids to make conscious efforts to engage in deep conversations with their parents, it should be known that the onus lies on you as parents to draw them closer as they advance in age. Let them see you as a formidable support system; hence be a source of inspiration to them and you would earn their trust in multiple folds.

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