Copyright

Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Inquire

I've heard it said that if you want to make friends, ask people about themselves. The theory is that everyone likes to talk about themselves and if you show an interest in others by asking questions - inquiring - they're inclined to view you positively and want to spend time in your company. If you're not just asking, but actually hearing and genuinely interested in the response so that there's also some interaction back and forth, even better. 

This applies to your young adult children as well. To build your relationship, show an interest in their lives. Not by being nosy or probing, as if trying to get them to reveal their hidden secrets, but in an authentic caring way.

Here are some examples to get you started:

"I miss talking with you. What's new and exciting in your life?"
"You've been my heart lately. Are you okay?"
"I've noticed that you're spending more time ____________. What do you enjoy about ____________?"
While your young adult may say "nothing" is new and exciting, or she is simply "fine," don't be discouraged or retreat back into your old way of communicating. Keep your tone non-threatening and light and continue to show that you are truly just wanting to connect and have a conversation. That you love her and want to know her better, to be involved in her life adult-to-adult. You will always be her parent, but you want to also transition into being her friend. I know some young people already consider their mother or father their best friend, but I'm not sure this is the general rule.

If you insist on continuing to parent your young adult rather than developing a bond between two adults, your young person is less likely to come to you with his questions, problems and concerns.

Don't use your advanced years (LOL) and wealth of experience to lord it over your children, but inquire about their lives from the position that you really want to know who they are. No matter how well you think you know them, I can assure you that there are layers of complexity just waiting to be explored. Strive to find the right questions to reveal them.


Do you agree? What questions do you find effective as conversation-starters?


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The letter I is brought to you by the A to Z Blogging Challenge that takes place each April. Join us anytime you like! 

14 comments:

  1. I'm lucky (I think) in that my children still talk my ears off about everything and anything. They get this trait from their father. It's a little less charming at ten p.m. on a school night though.

    I is for Illuminati

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    1. I hear you - timing is everything (or is at least important!) On the other hand, you don't want to put your kids off when they want to talk, or they may not come to you at all. How old are your kids?

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  2. Oh and the difference in children can require different conversation tactics! Good post on the subject :) First time visitor from A to Z
    Stephanie Finnell
    KatyTrailCreations
    Quilts and Quotes theme
    @randallbychance on Twitter from
    KatyTrailCreationsLetterI

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    1. True, Stephanie. You need to know what approach works best with each child. Thanks for the visit. Popping over to see you now :)

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  3. There is an old Sanskrit verse from ancient India that basically says nurture till 5 (years), discipline till 10, and when the child reaches 16, treat him like you would a friend.

    I get a lot of 'nothing' though my child is not yet an adult :)

    Nilanjana
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Interesting approach, Nilanjana. I wonder how effective it is; what is magical about those particular ages. I think a lot of parents get one-word responses from their teenagers, but that can change as they reach young adulthood (let's say once they're out of high school and into a job or higher education, mixing with a broader range of "peers").

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  4. I'm beginning to think that you would be a great advice columnist, Susan. Perhaps you should apply to your local paper?

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    1. Why, thank you! It's something I'd considered in the past. I think most papers these days (unless they're really local) reprint syndicated advice columns, though.

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  5. Fortunately, I've always had a good talking relationship with both my kids. So, as my son became an adult our conversations just matured along with him. Think the path for the same is open with Bug. Still, excellent advice for anyone unsure how to proceed! And I do find new sides to my children all the time and usually it leaves me quite proud.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Congratulations, Barbara! I always felt I had a good talking relationship with my kids as well, but it's gotten better by applying some of these points :)

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  6. So important with teens to ask open ended questions or you will end up with NO answers! I'm enjoying your A to Z!

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    1. Thanks, Paula! Yes, open-ended questions are the way to go, and sometimes they can be hard to come up with!

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  7. I love talking to people and hearing their stories. You might learn a thing, or two, or three.

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    1. I love that, too. And most people enjoy talking about themselves :)

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I appreciate your comments and try to respond to each one!