How do you communicate with your adult children without making them feel like they're five years old?
Have you ever thought about the question “Why?”
I’ve never really thought about the question, “Why?” until today’s interview. I use it quite frequently with my kids because I’m a curious person by nature.
By asking the question, “Why?” I try and gain a bit more understanding and figure out their reasoning skills that went behind a decision that they made. I do this in order to then help them analyze the steps they took and determine what would have been a better course of action.
I want them to learn from the experience and then take what they’ve learned and apply it in the future as needed (especially if they got hurt I don’t want them to go through the same mistake again.)
So when my son decided to come home with his ear pierced my first question was, “Why did you do that?” followed closely by my second why question, “Why did you think that was a good idea?”
He was only 18 years old when he did it and I knew that certain reasoning parts of his brain were still not connected.
And they’re still not but getting better.
But today’s interview made me take a hard look at how and when I’m using the “Why?” question with my children, with my husband, and friends.
The “Why?” question can come across as super judgmental. It can make the other person feel stupid, insignificant, and that they can’t do anything right.
This is a big thing for me to accept that I may have been making those that I love feel this way when it wasn’t my intention AT ALL!
And with my interview today with Sue Groner, she drops this gem along with so, so many others to improve the way we communicate with our children.
I had intended to focus on communicating with our adult children but all of the caring and wonderful information she (needs a better word here) tells me can and should be used if you have younger ones at home still.
So who is Sue Groner?
As an experienced mother, Sue knows how stressful and overwhelming parenting can be at times. She founded The Parenting Mentor to provide an ally for parents in their quest to raise confident and resilient children.
Sue is also the creator of the CLEARR™ method of parenting, developed through years of trial (and her fair share of errors!) with her own family. You’ll learn more about this in the interview.
A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a former advertising executive, Sue resides in New York
City and Bedford, NY with her husband, two “young adult “children (when they are not away at school) and their rescue dog.
She is available for private, group, and virtual mentorship sessions nationwide for individuals as well as corporations. She also wrote a book which you can find on Amazon called, Parenting: 101 Ways to Rock Your World.
And let’s get to the interview.
What you will learn in this episode:
- Why you shouldn't give unsolicited advice to your children now that they’re older
- The reason you should not start a question with the word, “Why…”
- The less judgemental you come across the more your children will come to you.
- How to validate what your child is saying instead of sounding accusatory and judgmental.
- Why you should say “I’m here to listen” instead of “I’m here to talk.”
- Why you should rethink failure and instead think trial and error.
- How her CLEARR™ method can help you be a better communicator with your child. (Communication, Love, Empathy, Awareness, Rules, and Respect.