We think we know our kids, but do we really know them? Not according to our research. We asked kids what they wished their parents knew about them and the answers were eye opening.
Things that kids wish their parents knew podcast notes
Our list from Canyon Springs kids
No matter what you say I will always be your favorite
Just because you have a favorite you don’t have to act like it
You can’t hold onto our mistakes
If you made the same mistakes and you are fine, why can’t I?
You put too much pressure and expectations on me
I’m gonna mess up, probably a lot, but maybe punish me less and remember how much you mess up too
I am not two anymore. Maybe you should grow up and not just me
I never want to disappoint you
Can I please just talk to you and you not get mad
I’m trying my hardest to be how you want me
Sometimes you aggravate me
How important it is to take the kids to church
That I don’t know the Bible as well as I should
Children could definitely give the adults in their lives some lessons in parenting. Here are a few, from writer Swati Lodha. This post is part of TED’s “How to Be a Better Human” series,In 2016, author and coach Swati Lodha was on tour in her native India to promote a parenting book she’d written. At one event, an audience member asked a question — but it was for Lodha’s then-16-year-old daughter, Swaraa, who had accompanied her.
His question was perhaps every parent’s nightmare: “Do you think your mother is perfect?”
“Nobody is,” replied Swaraa.
He persisted: “Can you tell me one thing that is wrong with her?”
Her answer: “I could write a book about it.”
Here are 4 key things that children would like to share with their mothers and fathers, according to the Lodhas’ research:
1. Disagreement is not the same thing as disrespect.
Many of the kids interviewed say that their parents usually see any deviation from their rules or even preferences as disrespectful.
As Swati concludes, “What children want from us is that we should recalibrate our relationship with obedience” and respect the reasons behind their behaviors and decisions.
2. Kids don’t need to be told they’re the best.
“Parents … have an emotional investment in their children, so whatever they do becomes the best, and the children also start overestimating themselves in the same way,” says Swati. But the kids she interviewed said they actually didn’t enjoy this inflated perspective. They want to be viewed more realistically and have their parents see them as who they really are — not as who they wish they were. “We should be able to face our fears and our fantasies with equal balance,” explains Swati.
3. Kids get feedback all the time; parents should get some, too.
4. Mothers and fathers shouldn’t get so fixated on results.
“Parents love outcomes,” Swati says. “Not only outcomes; they love all the measurable outcomes.” The children they spoke to said they felt pressured by their parents’ emphasis on grades, prizes, medals, game scores and school admittances — especially when it’s in a sport, subject or interest the kids pursued at the parents’ request, not because of their own interest. According to Swati, kids would like their intentions and efforts to be noticed and valued, even when the outcomes aren’t noteworthy.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4
We tend to focus on what the other group needs to do for us. Hey kids, obey your parents. Hey dad, stop exasperating me. We need to read these verses for what we need to work on not what everyone else needs to work on.