September 9, 2012
Focus on your kids
not your kids' problems
||The Q&A right after
||With the right questions parents
can increase their social capital—every single school day!
aren’t looking to connect to their kids; they are looking to connect to their kids’
problems. It sounds similar, but it’s as different as night and
Connecting to a
Who made you laugh
about how your child is “feeling”
Connecting to a kid’s problem:
How much homework do you
about how your child is “doing”
Which is more important to your
Your kids won’t allow you to help them unless you demonstrate greater concern for them—not
Three Good Things
Start the school day debrief
on a positive note by asking for the good things first.
Make it personal about you:
“I’m so happy to see
you. I always miss you during the day.”
Make it personal about your
“So, what were three good
things that happened to you today?”
You’ll hear it all—good and bad.
Allow your child to talk, even
if she’s telling you something bad. When she pauses or asks for input, avoid comment
on the bad stuff for a while.
Validate: “Oh wow, I
can see why it was embarrassing.”
Concern: “I want to
know more about it.”
Redirect: “But first
may we finish with the good things?
You told me one, what’s another?”
Demonstrate a curious
and open mind:
“green light” questions.
“How did that come
up?” “Is that important?”
Allow your child time to find the right words or to mentally review
the day’s highlights. He needs time to be fully heard.
Over time you’ll start to
understand your child’s likes and dislikes by the repeating themes.
kids—don’t always have the language needed to express thoughts and feelings so it’s up to us to
watch for opportunities to decipher their important messages. See Patterns
Being understood is a
relief; a relief that is rewarded by the relationship it fosters.
||Communication is an artful
relating skill that requires grace, elegance, and lots of practice and patience. Done well,
you’re connected to your kids by common ground and you’ll have a greater range of ways in which to
respond to them.
We promise to teach our kids to value
themselves as worthy of all good things. By demonstrating how to value
your gifts to her, you’re making good on the promise.
Related Articles: Communication, Top 10 to be Happy, Less Sad Isn’t
Happy, Successful Failure
Related Tip of the Week: Powerful
Listening, What to Listen For
courtesy of Centers for Disease Control where you’ll find tips for healthy
Chime in >> What do you think?