Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Three months ago, I decided to push my self to read a book at least per one month. Being a mom myself, I thought that I could read about parenting theme. Then I found an interesting book in Amazon titled “How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk” by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish.
After finishing all chapters I had one conclusion in one word: Listening. The first thing that you have to change in your communication, in this case, with children is that how you listen to them. Nevertheless, I found out that this is also applicable to improve our relationship with other people. Listening by our heart!
We have surely known this term, listening. This tip is commonly found in books related to communication & relationship contents. It’s easy to say, but hard to afford in reality.
When we first met someone, we have automatically made a prejudice to that person. This mind was affected, somehow, due to previous experiences by ourselves or someone who told us so. We can easily judge people because of their appearance, nationality or religion. This is the same case, that we thought that our kid is still or just a baby. This thought will just underestimate how clever she/he really is.
The aim of listening can easily be achieved when we also activate all of our senses. That’s why we have good features in our face: two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth. When I contemplate with this fact, this could mean that we should see the problem carefully, hear from both sides and think twice before making a conclusion/ judgement.
To improve this skill, the first thing to do is listening by full of attention. We couldn’t listen effectively while doing something else. I will give you an example how I make an attempt to improve my communication skill with my son.
As a parent, we know all too well about the term tantrum. This behaviour starts with children in the age range from 2-5 years old. This will even make you stressful since your child will be very determined. He won’t stop crying, until he gets what he wants.
These are some tips I followed from the book:
- Describe what I see or what he might feel and then give it a name of that feeling.
- Describe what I feel about the problem and what I want too.
- Try to engage him to find a win-win solution for both of us.
So, when my son started crying, I tried giving an eye-to-eye contact and asked him, “You must be so sad because you couldn’t watch more your favourite video. As we promised that you have only 3 times to watch. The problem is that you need to go to bed now …”.
Sometimes, the problem will be solved when I did only point 1 and 2. The real problem is that he only needs to be understood of his feeling and he will stop crying.
However, to get a win-win solution for another case, I need to give him some alternatives. When he doesn’t want to brush his teeth, for instance, my husband and I always give him two options, “with whom would you like to brush your teeth, your father or mother?” This, subsequently, is also useful to develop his self-confidence because we give him a chance to think as a grown up man, even though he’s still 3 years old.
In conclusion, when we are willing to understand people and describe the problem in a manner way, they are also going to understand us back. As the result, they want to be engaged to find a good solution for both of us. This will create a healthy relationship.