You must understand that technology is not my thing. The first time I saw a computer was when my husband bought a Comador 64. I personally had and still have a typewriter. We upgraded to some other computer of which I can’t remember. This computer was handed down to my then 5th grader. This computer became all mine in 2007 when I decided that my practice needed to become more up to date. I started my first website using this clunky machine.
Soon after I discovered what web surfing was all about. So I began signing up to put free ads on different sites like Yelp, LinkedIn and Namz. Before long I kept seeing my name and Calimesa Counseling pop up on this internet. I was amazed to see what I started take on a life of its own (apparently that is called “organic”). Truly we are living in an era where information is at our fingertips and I don’t have to lug out the giant dictionary, thesaurus, history books or map books.
Recently I went to eat at a restaurant where I will just say I won’t go back. I got onto Yelp and wrote my first review chastising the filthiness of the restaurant, the scarcity of food selections and how rude the staff was to me. I felt a sense of power knowing that people would heed my warning and stay away from this place.
Then I decided to write a review about my favorite sushi place. A-a-a-a. The words were difficult in coming into my head. I wrote and re-wrote and ended up with a very lame but high star review. It didn’t feel right somehow. Why was the negative so easy to be passionate about and yet the positive came with a struggle? I am normally a very positive person so this was worrisome to me.
Amidst all of my own confusion and struggling to straighten out my attitude I kept hearing the kids/teens I work with express these wishes. “I wish that my parents would listen to me,” “I wish that someone would love me,” “I wish that my parent’s would approve or even like me,” “I desperately want my parents to notice the good person that I am rather than just yell at me,” “I wish that my teachers would see that I need some help, that I am all alone at school.”
These comments seemed to parallel my thoughts on how easy it is to speak the negative and how difficult it is to speak positively. We may be good at uplifting others but somehow our families are held to a higher standard and are easy targets for our disappointments.
If you somehow resonate with this issue here are some thoughts to keep in mind when communicating with your teen.
~ When your child comes home from school, ask how their day was. Really listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. Eye contact will help you watch their body language as well.
~ Ask questions for more clarification. Remember the who, what, when, where, why and how questions.
~ If they are upset, reach out your hand and touch their shoulder in a clockwise circle.
~ Do not give them pat answers, ask them what they want. Help them find their own solutions so it empowers them.
~ Let them know you have faith in their ability to find a solution.
~ Tell them that you love them. They may be different from you but love their uniqueness.
Start this month to really make a positive difference in your child’s life. Just as you reach up to take someone’s hand to lean on, reach back and take your teens hand to pull them up creating a human chain of caring.