You've heard the refusals. Follow this sequence of questions and prompts to solve the problem together
May this time of year, the end of 2018, and the beginning of 2019 be an invitation to connect with yourself, one another, and your community. Keep reading for reminders to stay calm and happy this holiday season.
As you engage in tough and important conversations, these 3 tools will help you make a successful connection.
Have you ever tried a walk and talk with your teen? This could be a walk for exercise, sure, and it can also be entirely leisurely. In either case, walk and talk is communication strategy, a tool to remember when you have a pressing idea to process with your teen or when you can tell they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or frustrated. Being next to your teen, or "sideways talking," as opposed to face-to-face, can open the space for conversation-- literally and metaphorically. This orientation often feels less confrontational and more spacious for young people. For some teens, it can be safer to be next to adults when it comes to tough conversations and topics, or even asking for help.
Asking curiosity questions to the children and teens in your life will not only increase their engagement (which brings confidence, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and so much more along with it), but it will also give you, as the parent or caregiver, more room to breathe. Keep reading to learn how to use curiosity questions in a wide range of opportunities!
You and your family can make agreements about screentime, chores, finances or allowances, curfew, and so on. When you and your child or teen reach agreements TOGETHER, the buy-in is stronger. They are more likely to follow through with genuine interest and commitment. Plus, there’s less weight on you! Instead of giving instructions or reminders-- which can feel like nagging-- you can ask/remind your teen, “What did we agree to?”
Parents, caregivers, and supporters, I invite you to give this practice a try. Become aware of how it changes your own mood and energy as you face challenges in your own life. Then, notice how your breath can change, impact, and support the environment you facilitate with and for the children and teens in your life. Breath can be a powerful tool for talking to teenagers about the tough stuff!