The most important thing to remember when parenting on the school run is NOT TO CRASH THE CAR!
I have some of my best conversations with my boys (age 11 and 12) in the car. That is probably because when we are at home, they are attached to their electrical gadgets in their respective bedrooms!
I found out this morning that one of them wants to be a popstar! Something I wasn’t even aware of!
Our normal conversation about school consists of what lessons they have/have had that day, how boring school is and how they hate doing homework! So this morning I said to Toby (year 8), ‘I think we need to have a think about what you want to do as a career, for example Computers, and look at what subjects you will need to take, and put extra effort into those subjects, then you can do the basic minimum on things like German (which he hates!). Toby agreed this was an excellent idea, although he did suggest that he didn’t do any German homework at all!!
This was when Will (year 7) pipes up (pun intended) that he would like to be a musician! I asked him if he would like to play an instrument or sing, and he asked if he had a nice voice. I assured him that he did and asked him if he would like to join a singing group or have singing lessons. His response was singing lessons, so I have just found a singing teacher online in Poynton that I have contacted.
Seriously though, don’t get too distracted from the road! Safety first!
- Use every opportunity to communicate with your children (even if you only have 5 minutes)
- Talk about the future and ask them about their aspirations
- When they volunteer a piece of information, listen to them and ask probing questions, not just to gather more information, but to show them that you care about what they are saying. Be interested.
- Compliment and encourage your children
- Ask open questions eg. What do you want to do as a career? Which subjects do you enjoy and why? (As opposed to ‘Did you have a good day at school?’ ‘No.’ End of conversation)
- Act on the things you discuss immediately. Show them it is important by acting quickly (otherwise you’ll remember about 6 months later!)
If you want any advice on Communication Skills, Active Listening or Questioning Techniques please feel free to contact me at Helen@helenhamilton.co.uk