“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
Why did I place these words at the beginning of this post? Because emphasizes a relationship between children and parents that, at first glance, may not be noticeable. But if you are near, right away you can feel, the warmth of a Heart-to-Heart relationship.
The warmth of a Heart-to-Heart relationship
Early morning. There are almost no passengers in my commuter train car. Next to me at the window seat are a father and son. The son is about 10 years old and the father is around 40 years of age. It seems that they are going on a day trip and want to return to the city by evening. They speak quietly between themselves.
– Do you think we have time?
– I don’t know. If we do everything quickly, then yes.
– But if not?
– H-m! Why are you thinking about that?
They both start laughing.
We often hear and have similar conversations on trips. The point is not the conversation itself, but HOW the father and son talked together. They spoke on equal terms, understanding the value of each other’s opinions and each of them was open and genuine in this conversation.
The train slowed down. The next stop was mine. I wished a happy journey to the father and son and left the train. More than 20 years have passed since then, but this conversation has remained in my memory bringing a special warmth to my heart.
Warm Heart-to-Heart relationships do not know time. My experience has repeatedly confirmed this. Real Heart-to-Heart relationships, created by parents and children, are the most solid foundation for a family and are a model for children to create their families in the same way. Actions always speak louder than words …
Some problems in the parent-child relationship
In my experience, many parents, with the best of intentions, developed their family relationships from the position of Parent-Teacher or “Good Mom” or “Good Dad”. Instead of leading with their hearts they had become judges. And as a result words like “Good boy!” or “Bad boy!”, “Good girl!” or “Bad girl” were common. What was the result? Children and parents ceased to listen and understand each other . . .
Another example . . . Zurich, Airport. There is a huge poster on the wall. Set in a prestigious office, a businessman is talking on the phone. At the bottom of the poster are the words: “When did you last speak with your child?” Good question … But it’s not only “take 30 minutes” for your child or hugging your child as often as possible.
Yes, these are important activities, but a Heart-to-Heart relationship is not about the amount of time or specific actions, but about its quality. Have you seen parents who are glued to their phone or TV while sitting next to their children?
How to build a parent-child Heart-to-Heart relationship
From this post, I will start writing about how to build a high-quality parent-child Heart-to-Heart relationship. You will find practices, which I have developed from the experience of communicating with many parents and their children. Why are practices important? Because improving our life is a result of realizing activity.
I want to share with you the Four Secrets Heart-to-Heart relationship. Is this all there is to developing trusting relationships with children? Of course not! But it was the Four Secrets of Heart-to-Heart relationship practice that became the foundation that helped many parents and children find their way back to each other.
For each Secret, you will find the practices that will help you consciously realize what you want to improve in life. I hope that the fairy tales heroes will also help you develop a loving Heart-to-Heart relationship with your child!