· Take the time to really listen to your children. The Pritchards, mentors of ours, say that one of their key phrases is, “That’s interesting, tell me more.” This might come with a statement you may initially want to respond to with your own thoughts or fears. Instead, take the time to really listen. Hear their heart. They are developing and formulating their own thoughts throughout the years. I understand (through remembering it myself as well as working with youth in the Jr. High and High School years) that their brains are developing in such weird ways – keeping them , at times, from responding with logic and reason. It’s hard not to try and just give your opinion and have them embrace it. I know there’s a time for that for sure. However, if you have a child willing to talk, take the time to listen and ask questions so you can listen more. Spouting your opinion all the time may just break the communication that is happening freely when you take time to be thoughtful about what is really going on in their lives and hearts. If you are good at listening, they will learn to listen too. They will be more willing to ask for your opinions and be thoughtful about what you have to say.