PLANT, Inc. Blog
Encouraging Parent Led Education
By Nancy Lauser
If we haven’t learned to let our children speak for themselves by the time they are say, 4-5 years of age, the habit will be even more of a problem to break later. As moms, it is extremely challenging to stand back and let our students do their own talking. What if they don’t say the right thing? What if they use bad grammar? What if they say something embarrassing?
Both these young people had things to say that were important to them. For each student, it was a time to speak. Both were competent to speak for themselves. Both had parents who interfered. Both parents sent a clear but subtle message that the young person was incapable of speaking for themselves; that they are not valuable enough to listen to. For each parent, it was a time to listen.
Am I talking about allowing your children to be disrespectful? Absolutely not! Should they get to dominate a conversation? No way!
On a recent flight home from Dallas, I (and several other passengers) overheard a young mother who talked loudly the entire time, nearly two hours, all about her wonderful self. One passenger repeatedly called out, “shhhh!” to no avail. I seriously considered passing a dollar up to the talker to pay her to be quiet for the remainder of the flight. For this woman, it was a time to listen.
Children need to be taught that good communication includes talking AND listening, and discernment as to which one is appropriate at which time. We, as adults, need to remember that as well.
Here are a few ideas on creating opportunities for listening to your children, while at the same time giving them opportunity to speak:
Nancy Lauser (rhymes with saucer) designed and began teaching "Say It With Class: Beginning Public Speaking" in 2000. She has advertised her class through PLANT, Inc. since its inception in 2016. She and her husband have two sons, whom they homeschooled from kindergarten through high school. Whenever she gets invited to do so, Nancy speaks to groups about homeschooling, the importance of communication, raising sons, getting your kids to work, and other related topics.
PLANT, Inc. Blog is written by local parent educators and supporters of parent led education.