Interviews with adults M and P, and young boys E and L.

Feb 03, 2018

The last in this series of interviews is with Mum M, her son E who is 10 with his friend L who's 9 and P's son, and finally M's boyfriend P, who is not E's father. The family are German and live in Germany. Once again I am hugely grateful for their input and honesty.

THE FIRST ANSWERS ARE FROM M:

• What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned so far with regards to communicating with your children?

Children also hear all the things you don’t say. They are so sensible. So it’s not only important, what you say to a child, it’s also important how.


• When has it all gone horribly wrong for you, and what did you do to fix it?

After his father and I broke up, it was hard for our son and every time I said something to him, about him not doing what he should or something he forgot, he just cried. He was so highly sensitive. His father always told him, he was not good enough and every time I said something negative, my son thought I thought the same way about him.

I told him, that my love is unconditional. And that its okay to cry. But just because I was saying something negative, my love does not change. A year later he can live with constructive criticism.


• What is the personal trait you mostly rely upon in your relationships with your children?

My son knows 100% that I got his back. And that his feelings always have a right to be.


• What is your greatest fear for future communications with your children?

That he will not talk to me, when he is in trouble. That he just doesn’t know how to address his feelings and instead of talking about that struggle, he will be silent.


• Do you have strategy for this? If not, what would help?

I am constantly telling him, that I will NEVER turn my back on him. And even if he don't know why he is feeling the way he is feeling, he can talk to me and I will be there, never judging.


• When has it all gone wonderfully right, and why do you think that was?

After his father and I broke up and he and his parents talked behind my back. My son told me about it and said, that HE KNOWS I love him and that its important, not to believe what they are saying, he is FEELING the truth. He knows I love him. I am telling and showing him every day.

NOW WE HEAR FROM E AND L:

• What really winds you up about how adults speak to you?

Sometimes its hard, just to accept, that we don't have a say, when an argument is over. Adults just say no or yes and we have no say in it.


• What do you really like when being addressed by an adult?

If they are nice and listen to us.


• Is there anything you would change about how young people are treated in society, if so what?

Sometimes we feel not taken seriously. It would be great, if we had more say in the things the adults decide.


• Do you find it easy or difficult to communicate with grown-ups, and why?

Most of the time its easy. Sometimes its hard, because they just think they know everything better.


• What about other children - of the same age, and other ages?

That’s easy, if we like them.


• Do you think adults understand you? Why / why not?

Most of the time they understand us. But sometimes they think they know everything better then we do.


• What lesson would you like grown-ups to learn about how to communicate with children?

Be kind and friendly. And know that we have an opinion, as well.

FINALLY P GIVES HIS RESPONSES:

• What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned so far with regards to communicating with your children?

You have to be really careful with the soul of kids, cause things that we already considered being settled and done, leave deep marks inside the child.


• When has it all gone horribly wrong for you, and what did you do to fix it?

I was really loud towards him, cause he did something bad.

My son told me afterwards he was scared of me.

I assured him, I would NEVER hurt him and I will ALWAYS love him. No matter what.


• What is the personal trait you mostly rely upon in your relationships with your children?

Giving love and security. Being loyal.


• What is your greatest fear for future communications with your children?

That he's not trusting me and therefore is keeping things to himself. That he is not aware of the fact, that I will always be there.

Do you have a strategy for this? If not, what would help?

Always repeat and underline, that he can trust in me 100%.


• When has it all gone wonderfully right, and why do you think that was?

He struggled, after the divorce of his mother and I. We sat with him and told him, we BOTH will be there for him. He felt secured and loved and got better.


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