Monday, February 28, 2011

Free Cards Winner ~ Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon ~ Sending You Off To Dr. Gordon's Blog

I have reached the portion of Dr. Gordon's book discussing how we talk to our children. I am slowly taking it in, reading and re-reading, and realizing (and re-realizing!) that I won't be able to share it all with you due to its fullness! So, I am incorporating information from Dr. Gordon's blog here, and then, YOU can head over to this blog and have a heyday filling your own brain up :)

NOTE: There is such a wealth of information within the book and on Dr. Gordon's blog, and I share only a bit here, so that if it appeals to you, you can go get some more info.

Excerpts From Dr. Gordon's blog:

Many people think that they can get rid of their feelings by suppressing them, forgetting them, or thinking about something else. Actually, people free themselves of trouble-some feelings when they are encouraged to express them openly. Active Listening fosters this kind of catharsis.

When To Use Active Listening
Active Listening requires certain conditions and attitudes to be present before it is an appropriate response to your child's troubled communication. You should Active Listen only when:

~You get verbal or non-verbal cues that your child may have a problem or an unmet need.
~You genuinely want to help and the time and place are convenient.
~You feel accepting of your child; your child's behavior does not cause you a problem.
~You feel separate enough from your child's problem that his solution to the problem, whatever it is, will be acceptable to you.
~You are able to attend closely to your child. None of your concerns are so pressing that they will interfere with your concentration on your child's communication.

When NOT To Use Active Listening
There are clearly times when Active Listening should not be used without risking the creation of more problems. These times include when:

~You get no cues and clues that the child is experiencing a problem. (Don't create them!)
~You don't want to help in this case. You don't care, you're rushed, you're busy.
~Your child's behavior is unacceptable to you. You are irritated or hurt by it.
~You are invested in having your child reach the "right" solution to her problem. (Your Active Listening will then tend to be contaminated by hints in the "right" direction.)
~Your own problems are too upsetting and immediate to allow you to be intently focused on your child's concerns.
~Your child simply needs information which you have and he doesn't.
~Your child states the problem or feelings so clearly and specifically that an attempt to feedback would feel redundant and patronizing. (Silence or acknowledgment is better in such cases.)

READ MORE: Dr. Thomas Gordon's blog

It is helpful to use a variety of expressions when you Active Listen. Repetition of one phrase such as "Sounds like..." or "You feel..." rapidly becomes irritating to your child and comes across as a technique rather than a genuine, natural and empathic response.

Practice using different words as you Active Listening. One way to develop your Active Listening is to think about starting with only one part. This can be either listening to "Facts", thoughts, ideas, information, or listening only to "Feelings".
Some examples are:

ACTIVE LISTENING TO FACTS (especially good in the No Problem Area)
The fact is...
You think...
The idea you have is...
What you are saying is...
Your view is...
You believe...

~You feel...
~It's really...
~So you feel...
~Looks like...
~Sounds like you are...
~Seems like your feeling...

Relax, make your Active Listening as natural as possible. Using analogies that are age and interest appropriate are also good ways to develop a more natural variety of Active Listening responses.

~You feel...about...
~You can't...and that's...
~You're really...because...
~The way you see it is..and that's...'re really...
~You are...that...

In it's complete form Active Listening includes both the "Facts" (content) and the Feelings.

~It's like being hit by a truck
~You feel your teacher really nailed you to the wall
~You got hung out to dry
~She really shot you down (military or video gaming)
~So it's like you really struck out (sports)

READ MORE: Dr. Thomas Gordon's blog

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Rose! Thank you all for playing :)

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

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Katie m. Berggren