I’m speaking at Tierra Linda Middle School in San Carlos Thursday, Feb 6, 2014. We’ll be discussing how to reduce stress by learning how to be proactive and problem solve together.
Step 1 is to avoid communication blocks which keep kids from feeling safe with parents. Without fefeling safe and that they won’t be judged, they just stay quiet and often say, “I don’t know.” Below are examples of communication blocks and the underlying message that feels hurtful and shuts down communication.
Dr. Michael Popkin from Active Parenting Today was the inspiration for this information.
Step 1: Stop Blocking
A communication blockis any remark or attitude on the part of the listener that injures the speaker’s self-esteem enough to break communication.
Communication blocks include: commanding, giving advice, placating, interrogating, distracting, psychologizing, sarcasm, moralizing, being a know-it-all, me-tooism, and yelling.
Communication Blocks Examples
Child: “I don’t like my stupid teacher. She’s mean to me.”
Adult: “What did you do to make him yell? You must have done something wrong.”
The underlying message that feels hurtful: “You must have messed up somewhere.”
Child: “I just can’t do this. It’s too hard.”
Adult: “Stop complaining. I know you can do it.”
The underlying message that feels hurtful: “You don’t have the right to decide how to handle your own problems.”
Child: “My best friend can’t come to my party. He’s no friend of mine.”
Adult: “Honey, it will be okay. You’ll have fun with all your other friends.”
The underlying message that feels hurtful: “You don’t have a right to your feelings; you can’t handle discomfort (and neither can I).”
Child: “it isn’t fair that I have to take out the trash and Mike does nothing.”
Adult: “Well, do you want the trash people to come in the house and get it?”
The underlying message that feels hurtful: “You are ridiculous.”
Child: “I don’t understand why friends just turn on me. What did I do?”
Adult: “I had that happen to me when I was your age and I felt horrible.”
The underlying message that feels hurtful: “It’s more important, (or I’m more comfortable), for me to talk about myself rather than you right now.”
What blocks do you have a tendency to do? If you don’t know, just ask your children. They will tell you.
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.