We live in a time when our children are bombarded with stress and negativity. I constantly hear about bullying on the news. The negativity seems to be everywhere. Rasing children is hard, being a child is even harder. I would like to share with all of you something that I started when my children were very young and it certainly seemed to serve us well.
It seems as if it is so hard sometimes to get our children to talk to us much less confide in us. When my children were three or four years old I began a program whereby every single evening after reading to them, I would turn off the light, make the room dark and lay down next to them in their bed. I called this “Talk Time” and for 30 minutes we talked quietly about the events of the day. When they were young my sons thought this was very cool since they got alone time with Mom. Now it’s amazing how much children open up when it’s quiet, peaceful and dark. I found that this was the time when they told me everything. You see, around the dinner table, in the family room or driving around in the car there are usually other people. When it is close to bedtime however and they are tired of people and happy to be spending alone time they open up about a lot more than you might think.
I did this with my sons for many, many years. I was quite saddened when it came to an end but I must tell you I went through great pains to find alone time with each of them. Lunch, dinner, a walk, a hike; anything you can think of to find alone time with your children and do it alone so that they always feel that they have an opportunity to confide in you. If you have young children why not begin your own “Talk Time”? If you have teenagers make a date once a week to go for a walk or go to lunch. It is hard enough being a child, I think a lot of us become so busy we forget that they need our time and attention at any age.
This late at night “Talk Time” worked for me. If this doesn’t work for you think of another way to show your children that they should always feel comfortable confiding in you. Remember they need to share with you their troubles, anxieties and fears. Also, talk about positive things that have happened throughout the day or the week. Additionally, bring up happy events. One of the best things you can do for your child is to teach him or her how to pray. Why not take the time and pray with your child at night, especially when they are very young. This my friends will serve them well throughout their whole life.