parentspeakmainIt is much easier to speak first, thinking you will listen later. But often, speaking first means losing the opportunity to listen at all.

It is hard to be a good listener. The pressing issues of everyday life are obstacles to good, everyday listening. You can become so focused on your own problems that you fail to be a good listener. This sort of preoccupation leads to what I call "parentspeak." Parentspeak is talking without listening. This is the sort of everyday talk that damages your relationship with your kids. Most parents do this at times, sometimes without even being conscious of it. Here is an example of parentspeak. See if this conversation sounds at all familiar to you.

You have just gotten home from work. Your son finds you molded into your favorite chair, reading your paper or the mail as you start to unwind.

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