Get Off the Soapbox


Step down from your soapbox and into a conversation where listening builds trust.

Our children don’t learn from our lectures. They learn when we listen, understand their perspective, and engage in conversations that build trust. Trust gives our children the comfort of knowing that they can seek our advice or share difficulties in their lives, without any fear of losing our love. You can’t, after all, help children deal with problems that you don’t know exist.

The first step in getting off the soapbox is to know when you are on it. If there is not a positive exchange of ideas between you and your child, it is quite likely that you are giving an ineffective lecture and missing an opportunity to teach. If we are ordering our child to listen, it’s a good sign that we are not listening ourselves.

A culture of communication will build trust, and trust gives you a chance.

Where you begin:

I. Trust

  • Trust and love are the foundation for good communication.
  • When we communicate and engage in understanding the other person’s perspective, we build trust.
  • When your child knows that you will listen and not lecture, it is more likely they will come to you for guidance and help when they are struggling with something.

II. Talk “With” Not “At”

  • Have conversations not lectures. You’ll know the difference.
  • Remember how you react emotionally when you are lectured. There is no listening or learning. The same goes for your kids. A conversation allows for both of you to learn.

III. Focus

  • Don’t multi-task. Instead, give your children your full attention. It sends a message to them about how important they are. It also provides the example of how they should treat others.

IV. Active Listening

  • Listen first, speak second.
  • Be sure you understand their perspective before you respond.
  • Be empathetic, understand their perspective.

Use Conversation to Build Trust: Step down from your Soapbox.

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