I am not a guru when it comes to parenting, but I do have life lessons and stories to share. That was the attitude I had to have that day because I knew in my heart…there were hurting parents in the audience that needed some inspiration.
In 2016, I gave a talk in the Philippines to about 200 parents on “Bridging the Communication Gap”. I honestly never saw myself giving a parenting talk, but after creating the content and giving my presentation, I realized I am passionate about this topic. I shared ten barriers that I believe to be the common causes of communication gaps happening in a lot of families. I’m sure more would come up if I was to facilitate a coaching workshop for parents. I then shared some of the practical tools and tips that have helped me in my own parenting journey. Barrier #2 was “Lack of Friendship”.
“I am my children’s best friend and life mentor” is something I intentionally live by (and my kids would agree to that). It was a balancing act I had to play with when they were younger. I was constantly looking for that fine line between being a parent and a friend to them. I was building trust and protecting that trust. I knew they would need a listening ear at some point…just like I do. I knew they would need words of encouragement…just like I do. I knew they would need information to help them…just like I do. Empathy and direct communication helped me keep the friendship and our relationship healthy…to this day.
I am not a guru when it comes to parenting, but if there’s one more thing I can share to challenged parents out there, it would be … I did need to work on myself first before all of the above. That was my key.
How are you dealing with Barrier #2?