I have the privilege of working with several families in the community. A consistent struggle that many families struggle with is the development of healthy communication and social skills. This struggle can be caused by number of factors some would say it’s because of technology, while others would say its due to media and our culture. I believe there is a broad spectrum of reasons why parents struggle to communicate with their children and likewise children and youth struggle to communicate with their parents. How do we begin to improve our communication skills and thus our families and communities? Well honestly we start one step, one family, and one community at a time. I like to encourage individuals to start by looking at themselves in the mirror, in other words we must model and lead healthy communication skills and social skills for others to learn from. We do this by practicing allot, yes look at yourself in the mirror and practice the skill your trying to develop. Others role play it out with family and friends but practice and repetition does make perfect. So, whether your child or young person is super compliant or a real struggle decide to change things up and teach them something new. I love trying a new skill with my kids or the kids I work with. The look I receive from them is usually a puzzled look but seeing them grow and mature in a skill is priceless. For today’s skill, we will try using polite requests with our families. For example, “Would you like to pick up the family room now or in fifteen minutes you choose?” another classic one can be “I would love to talk to you once your voice is calm like mine”. Have fun with this and create one or two for yourself and practice it with in your home environment. Remember to never deliver a request as a threat, in anger or sarcasm that defeats the teaching moment. Lastly, always thank the individual once the task or request has been fulfilled. I don’t know about you but there is something nice and encouraging when someone says “thank you” once a task is completed. It can help us and the child feel a sense of appreciation and accomplishment.
Enjoy Life, be Faithful to your Family and Community.