A post about how we think we listen, when we do not. Not being heard, leaves some kids feeling alone and angry. A few can get angry enough to seek revenge But first a cartoon.
Thanks to the Laughing Housewife for this laugh. The post with the above cartoon has some more laughs. So visit it. Both are about listening well. The laugh linked into my mind to my post yesterday about how killers are created.
One of my brightest readers said on my Facebook Page that she would not have read the post if she didn’t know me and like me. Why? Because I started the post off with the words “Banning guns will not end violence.” By her own account the article was a good one.
Her motivation was in my best interests as she thought a more moderate statement would have garnered more readers. I am not sure as more readers linked to this particular post linked to it than to many others. We got into a bit of a back and forth, probably with both of us feeling un-heard.
PARENT ADVICE ABOUT LISTENING WELL
Anyway, my point for parents is the need to get passed some of the words that make you stop listening almost as a knee jerk reaction. Name-calling shuts my ears down.
I have talked previously on my EFTI blog about the need to help good kids clean up their language. We wouldn’t listen to our foster children when they cursed or called names. However, we would be available to talk once language was cleaned up. Name calling, by the way, is emotional abuse and listening can and should be deferred until it stops.
Because of my foster children, I am super sensitive to name calling. That certainly played a part in my feelings about my friends use of the words “Gun nut.” Later, she called my post “Specious,” yet another name implying to my over-sensitive mind that I was shallow and prone to misleading if I wrote such posts.
By the way, I am equally certain my friend was caught up in the fact that I was accusing her of being a name caller. And yes I was. To make a long point shorter, language is complicated and subject to interpretation particularly if our emotions get involved. Relationships of importance are prone to emotional distortion and more common than we think.
PARENTING ADVICE ABOUT LISTENING
Tip one: The heart of much of my advice is to think when caught in emotion. That is why I say take a Calming Breath or five or six or twenty, before acting on a negative feeling. Of course, that sounds good, but is not easy. Still in costly situations – such as dealing with a boss – not acting until the heat of the moment passes could save your job.
If either my friend or I had taken time to think a bit might have made either of us more thoughtful in our criticisms Were I not emotionally involved, I would probably have ignored her advice or just said, “Thank you, I’ll think about that.”
Tip two: In heated face-to-face situations, minimal response works best. That means head nods, “hmms,” “I hear you,” or “Yes” when you agree and silence when you don’t. That approach saved my job at least once in my work career.
Tip three: Making process oriented comments is often useful and puts the ball back in the other person’s court. “I am curious, how you decided that” is a process oriented comment. For an arguing teen, such a comment might take this form: “This is very important to you, can you tell me more about what it means to you.”
Tip four: Get my free book, When Good Kids Get You in a Gotcha War. It discusses useful responses for more heated situations in greater detail. The download is from Smash Words along with instructions for down loading. Please review it there or by commenting on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook Page.
ADDITIONAL STAYING STRONG PARENTING ADVICE
To help you stay emotionally strong while supporting your child, go to my free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. Once there you can subscribe to my Staying Strong Emotional Fitness Blog. The exercises are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with life’s stresses and every day problems. Most can be taught to children as young as three.
You might find my Emotional Fitness Training®’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, but I also share lots of other people’s information about staying strong both as a parent and as an individual.
As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, give lots of love, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love
Finally, as always thank you for following me and for your support. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me and others stay strong. Moreover, you will be practicing kindness one of the Daily 12 and strengthening your emotional fitness.
Additional posts related to mass killings:
- More Aikido and Fewer Guns introducing the practice of Aikido
- Letter to President Obama promoting more Aikido and Fewer Guns
- What if an in depth discussion of the Columbine killings
- How the Israelis protect their children.
- Alternatives to Violence Project
Suggested reference: James Garbarino’s Lost Boys
DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. Dysgraphia is a not well known learning disability and means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere. If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.