2nd Family-Youth interaction (FYi)
3 TIPS of ENCODING HIDDEN & SECRET MESSAGES in CHILDREN
How can we encode the hidden things in the heart of our child? What is our child thinking? How is she feeling deep down inside? Let’s see how as parents, we can enter into the heart room of your child & also opening up your heart room to them.
Teens are often dealing with multiple insecurities in their years. These can range from feeling unsupported and misunderstood,blaming themselves for all of life’s problems, or discovering and exploring their self-worth. The last thing they want is to feel like their parents are constantly breathing down their neck!
Parents want to give what is best for their child, but are often puzzled the behavior of their children. They may find it difficult to relate to their child and often wonder if they have made mistakes in raising them.
My message to all the teens out there – your parents do not mean to dismiss you, want to control your life, or make you feel like it’s your fault. They are probably feeling frustrated or having trouble understanding where you are coming from.
My message to all the parents out there – your teen does not deliberately trying to push your “impatience” buttons. They are probably feeling misunderstood or feel like you treat them differently to their brothers or sisters. Teens naturally test their boundaries in order to experience more independence.
Feeling: Remember when you communicate with your daughters and sons all the time simply by the way you live your life, by the way you treat, appreciate, and touch others. So, communication of a deeper feeling and emotion are sometimes better than verbal conversations. Don’t underestimate the power of your facial expressions and your expressions of affection.
Information: (a) Ask for information indirectly. For example, ask what “most” kids in school do if they feel pressured to do something. Don’t assume that you know what your son or daughter thinks, feels, or does as a result of this information that he or she has shared. If the conversation is going well, you could ask what your daughter or son thinks or feels about what the “other” kids are choosing to do/not do. You could ask what the current hero/heroine might say about a situation. (b) Most people like to be helpful, so ask your daughter or son for help. Perhaps you could say something like, “Can you help me understand a little more about …” (c) Use the media. There are plenty of opportunities to say one quick sentence or two that could lead to a more lengthy discussion, say, a relationship break up scene.
Value: Teens typically want to know what their parents think about sexuality, sexual behaviors, and relationships. They want to know what values are important to you. You are the adult in this situation. It is your role to initiate conversations, even when it is difficult; to keep trying again and again and again; to find ways to stay connected.
Encouragement: Keep sarcasm and put downs out of the conversations. Be encouraging at all times when your teens are opening up.
Listen to your tone instead of your words when talking to your teens. At times, it’s not what say, but the way you say it that makes an impact. Kids sense what their parents are feeling. Often, they are not really listening to your words but looking at your facial expressions and reacting to the tone of your voice.
Talk to your child as though you’re composing a song. “Parent-child communication is composed of both music and lyrics. However, children are always listening to the melody (or tone) of a parent’s voice. Unfortunately, we, the parents, are often paying more attention to our lyrics.”
Take a break, find right time and listen to your child. Specific actions — like making eye contact, kneeling down to your child’s level and even tilting your head-show your child you are listening.
Repeat what you heard (full attention, clarify, validate). It’s often useful to restate what you heard and put your child’s feelings into words. You might say, “You seem sad about going to tuition today.” These reflective statements acknowledge and give words to your child’s feelings.
Ask specific questions to gather more information. You might say, “Can you tell me exactly what happened?” If it makes sense to talk some more, you might ask, “What upset you the most?” Follow-up questions both acknowledge your child’s feelings and get her talking about them. And they help you gather more information, so you can better understand what actually happened and how your child is thinking about it.