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Family Communication

All parents are told to raise their kids to be the best they can be. Each parent is given hundreds of words of advice on how he or she should be raising their family.

But what is the right advice, one may ask? Is the neighbor across the street, the grandmother or the childhood friend the right person to give a parent advice on children?

Last night I attended a presentation by Michael Swisher, Asset Liaison for the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, to a group of parents at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic church in Arlington.

Coming from a person who has undergone all the rough pre-teen and teen years of fighting parents for miniscule things, Michael put things in the best possible perspective in regards to parent communication with kids. He is able to make key points that all parents should acknowledge when talking with a child.

The most relevant topics to me were that:

Parents often forget how much their reactions to everyday things can impact how a child feels they can talk to his or her own mom or dad. An example used in the presentation was when parents hear about a story of their child’s friend, and react with judgment and accusations. Their child now knows that they cannot speak to their parent comfortably about important topics. This happened to me in my family. One example was when I spoke about a classmate having trouble with smoking cigarettes and my mother’s reaction told me that the topic was not safe for me to speak about. She responded with “Oh well, don’t talk to that person” and “wow, what a shame”. From that point on, I didn’t speak to my mother about that person or cigarettes and my curiosity about them.

The idea of comfortable communication and respect for sons or daughters words and actions was a key point. Allowing children to speak openly in their own family without judgment and questioning is a way that parents can improve their connection with their children. Having my parents judge me was a hundred times worse than being judged by a peer in school. These judgments caused a greater imprint on me than did Maggie or Susan’s.

Children want to be able to feel emotions and express them in their own manner and be acknowledged that yes, we as kids can be angry, sad, or even happy about different things. I am allowed to be upset that I wasn’t allowed to go to a friend’s house or eat that cake after dinner.

The presentation allowed for parents to realize these aspects that may be missing from their relationships in their homes. As a viewer, I could see the parents agreeing with the key concepts that Michael spoke about. They seemed intrigued and informed of new methods of communication that they may or even may not want to use. The parents included themselves in the presentation by asking personal questions and even telling their own methods of communication to the other parents around them. Some parents expressed relief because they understood and were glad that it is not just them.

Looking back over the past years and especially to my young teen years, I can strongly say that the presentation is so accurate and to the point that I kept thinking to myself, "He’s right."

Posted: Mar 11, 2014 by

what if I wanted to attended this presentation by Michael Swisher, Asset Liaison for the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, - See more at:
Comment by: Mary - 05/01/2014 01:16 PM

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