Keeping communication open by listening to your children

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Keeping communication open by listening to your children

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It's very important for parents, as part of a rational universe, to be good listeners. And a mistake parents make, including my own mother, as soon as you start to say something, they lecture you as to why you shouldn't feel that or should feel that or should thinking in a different direction. What a child does, when you do that, is they shut up. They're not going to tell you things that they're thinking because they didn't start talking in order to be lectured to. So have a time and opportunity for a child to speak without you saying anything. No lecturing, no evaluation, no nothing, just listening and making sure you understand them. Among other things you can learn about the things that are bothering the child, which they won't tell you if they're going to get a lecture and you can learn about things that the child values. Every child, over and above the moral values that you teach them, every child is going to develop their own personal values in life. That's what life is, is the pursuit of values. Goals are a means to values. So if you'll listen to the child, you'll learn about things the child values, and when you learn about the things the child values, you can encourage those values. You can encourage them on how to pursue them, how to increase their skills at pursuing those values, how to find opportunities which you can help make for them. And it's very important for children to, as part of their childhood, to develop independent values. Obviously, things that are moral values have to be taken for granted, but things they like doing like whether it's music, reading, piano, soccer, computer games, if you want to allow that up to a certain point. And if the parent keeps lecturing every time they hear a value, the child will just tune out and it'll all be secret.

View Edwin A. Locke, PhD's video on Keeping communication open by listening to your children...

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Edwin A. Locke, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Edwin A. Locke, PhD, is Dean's Professor (Emeritus) of Leadership and Motivation at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his BA from Harvard in 1960 and his PhD in Industrial Psychology from Cornell University in 1964.He has published over 300 chapters, notes and articles in professional journals, on such subjects as work motivation, job satisfaction, incentives, and the philosophy of science. He is also the author or editor of 12 books, including The Selfish Path to Romance: How to Love with Passion and Reason, Study Methods and Study Motivation, Goal Setting: A Motivational Technique That Works, A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance, Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior, The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators  and Postmodernism and Management: Pros, Cons and the Alternative. He is internationally known for his research on goal setting. A recent survey found that Locke's goal setting theory (developed with G. Latham) was ranked #1 in importance among 73 management theories. His work has been supported by numerous research grants, and he has served as consultant to research firms and private businesses.Dr. Locke has been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Academy of Management, and has been a consulting editor for leading journals. He was a winner of the Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award at the University of Maryland, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Career Contribution Award from the Academy of Management (Human Resource Division), the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (Organizational Behavior Division), and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science. He has been a writer and lecturer for the Ayn Rand Institute and is interested in the application of the philosophy of Objectivism to behavioral sciences.

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