Connecting by conversing
By Tracey Or | 19 February 2021
Successful relationships often form the baseline for meaningful interactions and achieving happiness in life. Parents tend to be more proactive in preparing our children’s pathways for a successful education and career.
In comparison, we may be far less intentional in laying the socio-emotional blueprint for the establishment of healthy relationships in our children’s lives.
It is not uncommon to put off addressing topics on sexuality – or leave it to the teachers in school to cover. However, the reality is our children live in a highly-sexualised, media-saturated environment, which may offer them skewed versions of human relationships with values that may not sit well with our own.
In truth, many of us DO hope to be the first person our child approaches to talk to about love and sexuality. If we miss this window of opportunity in their younger years, will our children shut us out from their relational struggles?
In truth, healthy relationships don’t just “fall into place” and some intentional effort in teaching our children how to manage relationships can really go a long way!
Here are some suggestions to approach it practically and intuitively in our interactions with our children.
My teens used to cringe when I broached such topics due to initial awkwardness. However, the more we connected, the more they found it natural to come back to ventilate their concerns and anxieties over relationship woes.
Such conversations may not always be comfortable and easy to engage in, but remember that we don’t have to have all the answers. Instead, we can let our teen know that we value his or her opinion, even if it is different from ours.
© 2021 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
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