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Listen to Me

Kids will tune you out if you appear angry or defensive.

It is important to note that older children or teenagers can view any sign of emotion as extreme. 

In research from a national survey, 75% of teens indicated “If I knew my parents wouldn’t freak out I would really like to share certain things with them.”

Almost any sort of emotional reaction can send teens into a tizzy. Ironically this is because they are the ones trying to deal with all sorts of emotions and they can’t handle ours too.  

In other words: anything other than a polite, ultra-calm listening expression risks being interpreted as an overreaction. So next time try responding with a small smile, an inquisitive eyebrow, or say “That’s interesting” instead of “Oh my gosh that’s what happened?”

 

Here are some key points for communicating

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Use subtle cues to signal “tell me more”
  • Listen calmly with little visible emotion
  • Soften strong reactions – do not interrupt

 

For more tips on communication add the Communication Issue to your MASK library 

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