Listening

 

How often do you fail to listen when all your children want is for you to understand what is happening in their lives?

 

 

The following may seem familiar:

 

 

Your son or daughter comes home with a low grade. You chastise him or her for not trying hard enough. You call them "lazy" or worse.

 

 

Your teen says, "you always get so upset when I get a lower grade than you think I should. You don't know how hard I try. You think I'm smarter than I am."

 

 

This sounds manipulative so you say something like, " Your teachers have always told me you ARE smart; you're just not trying hard enough."

 

 

Do you see the opportunities missed?

 

 

Your teen is really saying, "I want you to accept me as I am. I want you to acknowledge that sometimes you do overreact when I get lower grades. I want you to listen to me." I want you to help me."

 

 

If you would have heard that, you might have said "You're right, it doesn't really help you when I get upset. What can I do to help you? And, by the way, I love you."

 

 

It is much more important for your kids to know that you believe them and believe IN them than it is for you to make negative remarks because you fear being manipulated.

Mark Littman

Therapy and Counseling Center
 
for teens & adults in Newton, Sparta, Vernon 
and Sussex County New Jersey

 MA, LPC, NCC

973 . 300 . 5338

Text: 973-632-6617