Growing Our Next Leaders Through Listening

When our teens have ideas and are ready to work for change in our world how do we keep them hopeful and build their resilience? And how do we grow this next generation of leaders? This article, Empower Our Teens to Be Compassionate Leaders, has many suggestions that I want to echo. Yet the one that has made the most difference for me parenting and working with teens is, “When you talk to your teenager, listen first and seek to understand before talking.” If you want to build a relationship, ask questions and really listen, then ask more questions and listen. LIsten with your whole face. Be around. Be available. When your daughter wants to show you a video of the skateboarding move she wants to learn, watch it with her. When your son wants to cook with friends, be there to cheer them on and eat what they create even if it is a little burnt. When your teen has something to share with you. Stop. This is your chance to know him. These moments are golden. These positive connections teach our children that we love them the way they are and believe in who they want to become. Our actions of listening show that we value who they are now and in the future. From this they will learn to value themselves. Strong leaders need to believe in themselves. Effective leaders need to know how to listen. You will have shown them the way one conversation at a time.

This wonderful article is from The Gottman Institute, Empower Our Teens to Be Compassionate Leaders by Lisa McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, SEP  

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