I need your help on a project

I’m trying out a new experiment.  Many of you are parents, grandparents,  teachers, counselors, youth pastors, stay at home moms, etc. who have invested countless hours in figuring out how to communicate with the children in your life.  I want to use your experience to add value to a talk I have coming up this weekend.  Here is a little bit of info about the talk…

  • The talk is about, “Communicating with Children.”
  • I have approximately 30 minutes
  • I won’t know the ages of children we are dealing with until the parents get in the room
  • I have countless resources on my book shelf, but I want to hear from you

Comment below, e-mail me (jonathan@calvaryofpensacola.org) or write a response on facebook.  Thanks for sharing.  I’ll share this as 3 separate blog posts next week with more substance to the outline.

4 tips for Hearing what your kids have to say

Hugs & High fives or other forms affirmation like smiling

Eye contact & other physical cues to let them know you are listening

Ask good questions

Rephrase to make sure you know what they are saying.

5 ways to BLESS your kids when you talk to them

Be Available

Level appropriate


Straight forward


5 Ways You don’t want to CURSE your children

Cut off your child while they are speaking

Undermine your own credibility by manipulating your children or being untrustworthy

Reduce Praise by adding Criticism

Shut down and stop communicating

Expect them to communicate on your level

1. What do you like or not like about this outline? What would you change, clarify, add, delete, etc? (you won’t hurt my feelings)

2. In your opinion what are the 3 most important things to remember about communicating with children no matter what their age?

3. What advice would you give to parents who have a desire to work on how they communicate with their kids?

5 thoughts on “I need your help on a project

  1. Sonya Bell

    I like your outline!
    I think it is very important to
    -stay calm and don’t act shocked (hide it) when bad news is
    shared. They will feel safe and be more willing to reveal in the
    -Understand middle schoolers go through goofy stages (hair
    styles, messy bedrooms,no longer straight As, etc.) Just
    bear with it. Don’t nag and don’t let them hear you when you
    ask God to help you survive this!
    -Let them hear you pray for specific blessings over their life – making wise decisions, choosing friends who make wise decisions, safety, etc. Also, let them hear you ask God to give you guidance as you raise them.


  2. Sonya Bell

    As an elementary teacher and a parent of teens, I cannot stress the importance of good parenting in the EARLY years. The firm but loving discipline, open communication, structure in the home, etc. is so important EARLY!!!! Parents cannot wait until they are 10 to start. Teenagers who know how to behave probably had parents who started the process before they could walk.

    I teach 10 year olds who have already developed very serious problems and its usually a result of waiting too late to start the parenting process.

    Tell your parents the car is a great place to communicate, so put down the cell phone – especially when picking the kids up from school. (You wouldn’t believe the # of parents in car line with phones to their ears.) They are wound up after school and willing to tell it all – a missed opportunity!

    I’m sorry to be so lengthy but parenting is an issue that is so dear to me because of what I see every day.


  3. Terrie

    I would like to add to Sonya’s cell phone advice. Turn off the radio and CD player too. Those DVD players in cars and vans need to be reserved for trips over a 100 miles when having school age children on board. The best conversations I had with my children were in the van. Jonathan, ask some of our young folks what their parents did to communicate with them.


  4. Brother Johnathon,
    Outline is good! Did you come up with that yourself? If so, you need to write a book one day, if you haven’t started already.

    All I might add is “say what you mean and mean what you say.” Don’t say to a child, “If you don’t do “this,” we are going to have to do “that” and then when child doesn’t do “this” and parent doesn’t follow-up with “that,” the child learns that the parent doesn’t mean what they say.

    Also, be consistent. Don’t let a bad habit or broken rule be gotten away with one day and then disciplined the next. That tells the child that the parent doesn’t always care nor always act upon and this is unpredictability. A child needs to know that they know what their consequences will be.

    Children are master manipulators, as well. If a parent realizes they are being manipulated then the parent must act quickly to counteract manipulation. This is one of the biggest breakdowns in parent effectiveness: a child who successfully manipulates his/her parents. This problem escalates into bigger and higher types of control and bleeds over into all relationships eventually. No one wants their children to be master manipulators in relationships, especially marriages.

    A problem that is rampant in my home is communication. I work hard to continually remind my children that eye contact is important and respectful and that being respectful almost always works IN their favor rather than AGAINST


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