“Good Communication = Good Relationships”
This chapter is packed! Covering the words we choose, non-violent communication, better listening, criticism and feedback, problem solving, peace making, and communication rituals, there is a lot to think about—and talk about! Please note on page 222.
“How children turn out depends on family communication skills. What people say to them at home shapes how they think and feel about themselves, and consequently, their behaviors.” (p. 214)
Q: What is the tone of communication in your family? Are swear words common, and if so, what are the rules around them? Is it okay for people to say anything to each other, or are some things off-limits? Is it more ‘normal’ to say positive things to each other or negative things?
“All parents say things they regret. And sadly, careless words can have unexpected, lasting consequences.” (p. 225)
Q: Have you said words to your child that you regret? Did you ‘undo’ them once you realized it? How so?
“Positive feedback is validating. It encourages, acknowledges, appreciates, compliments, and supports.” (p. 226)
Q: Using the chart on page 228, ‘reframe’ a common statement that you have used or heard recently in your family.
“Most people think they are good listeners, but few really are.” (p. 218)
Communication Exercise: find a partner and ask them to tell them about their day. Using the Active Listening Techniques on page 218, let them talk for 5 minutes. Then take turns. Q: How did it feel to fully listen? How did it feel to be fully listened to?
Try that exercise with your child. Try it with your partner.
Also, choose one or more of the following:
- When a conflict arises, use the steps of Non-Violent Communication on p. 217
- Use the Twelve Steps to Peacemaking on p. 230
- Choose a new parent interaction from p. 233
- See bottom of p. 231. How many family dinners do you have per week? If less than three, can you try for one more? (If you can, shoot for 5!)
Do you know someone whose child has been bullied? Have them read “Listening to Trouble” on pages 221 and 222.
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