Inviting Parents to a Teleconference Class on Basic Communication Skills

Posted by Harriet on

In light of my upcoming teleconference class, I’m re-posting a previous post, slightly modified.   

One of the best aspects of my job as a school social worker (pre-retirement) was conducting parenting workshops.  And one of my favorite is the “How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” series.  The two authors, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, wrote this book (and program) back in the ‘70s and it’s still completely relevant today; perhaps even more so given the fact that we’re more hooked into screens than live faces.      

Our kids’ communication skills today are expertly played out through social media – texting, tweeting, emailing, facebook.  In a sense we’re losing our kids to this technological world.  Parents are truly hungry for skills and techniques to sink their teeth into and connect with their children in a face-to-face manner.   

Having run these workshops several times in the schools, I see the participants come alive with enthusiasm.   They listen intently to one another as their sense of isolation diminishes.  “You mean I’m not the only one”; “I thought it was only my kid”; “I’m at a total loss”.  They share, vent, role play, question, practice skills, shout –out, take notes, do homework and are completely engaged.

We are all involved in learning to respond in a non-reactive manner with new skills in our parenting tool box.   And many of these {communication} skills are ones that can be used by all with all.  They’re what I call basic people skills; not only relevant to parent-child relations.

A basic foundation for healthy emotional well-being is helping our children learn to deal with their feelings. 

Acknowledging feelings is a basic communication skill.  It is so important and so relevant to all human relations.  It’s how we all feel understood.  And when we feel ‘gotten’ we’re more apt to come on board and let our guard down instead of holding tight to our defensive and sometimes defiant stance.

So often we want to make it all better for our kids or anyone else we’re dealing with who’s expressing {uncomfortable} negative emotions.  We want to quickly take it away, stop it, or as I like to say, ‘pooh, pooh’ it.  But that only makes it worse.  By acknowledging, we are giving them permission to have them, to express them appropriately.    “You were really angry when he teased you during recess.” As opposed to, “oh don’t let it bother you, just walk away and tell the teacher.”

 But we as the adults must be able to tolerate their negative feelings  and not run to erase them,  lest  they run later on  to negate them  with alcohol or other drugs of choice.

If you think this is an extreme leap, think again and look around.  Talk to people who are experts at numbing their pain as they sit at the bar gulping down their anesthetic.  

As with any new skill, it takes practice.  It’s almost like a new language.  It all starts with us as parents, as people.   We set the tone.  Even the smallest shift tilts the pendulum and small waves of change can be subtly felt- between parent and child, friend and friend, boss and employee.

We need to communicate mindfully and consciously and from a place of non-reactive strength.  Easier said than done. 

If you’re a parent in the midst of this most important ‘job’ of raising the next generation, for which there is no advance training (or degree), consider joining in on the April 24th teleconference call.  Click here to sign up.

Please pass this info along and share.  Thank you. 


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