Tag: Communication

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Strengthening Relationship with Children

A child’s relationship with their parent or other primary caregiver is the most significant one in their life. A strong parent-child bond helps kids learn about the world they live in. Children turn to their parents as they develop and change to find out if they are loved, safe, and secure. They will construct their upcoming connections on this foundation as well.

By being there with your child, spending quality time with them, and fostering an environment where they feel free to explore, you may develop a strong parent-child relationship. There is no magic formula or certain way to build a successful relationship, and you’ll probably encounter challenges along the way. Your child will ultimately flourish if you continue to focus on your relationship.

The following are positive parenting strategies that might help you and your child develop a closer bond:

Display Your Love

Every stage of our lives requires human contact and genuine affection for healthy emotional and neurological development. It’s crucial that you give your child tender, loving touches (like hugs) multiple times during the day. Every opportunity to connect with your child should be embraced. Give them a friendly grin, make eye contact, and warm greetings to promote open communication.

Saying “I love you”

Even if it is frequently suggested that we love our kids, make sure to express it to them on a daily basis, regardless of their age. It can be a wonderful time to reassure your child that you love them no matter what they do or how difficult they are behaving. The relationship you establish with your child over the long run might be greatly impacted by a simple “I love you.”

Set Structures, Guidelines, and Penalties

As they mature and learn about the world, children require structure and direction. Make sure your kids are aware of your expectations for them by talking to them about it. Age-appropriate penalties should be in place and applied consistently when rules are breached.

Pay Attention and Feel What They Are Saying

Listening establishes a connection. Recognize your child’s emotions, demonstrate your understanding of them, and reassure them that you are available to assist them in any way they require. Consider situations from your child’s point of view. You can start to establish respect between you and your child by paying attention to them and showing empathy.

Play with Others

The development of a youngster depends so much on play. Children use it as a tool to learn language, express their feelings, encourage creativity, and gain social skills. It is a pleasant approach for you to improve your bond with your child as well. What you play is irrelevant. The most important thing is to just have fun with your child and make a commitment to doing so.

Stay Focused and Available

Even only 10 uninterrupted minutes a day can make a significant difference in your child’s ability to develop strong communication skills. Put away your technological devices, turn off the TV, and spend some quality time with your partner. Despite all the distractions and strains in your life, your child needs to know that you think they are a priority.

Dining Together

Family meals provide an excellent opportunity for interaction and bonding with your children. To simply enjoy each other’s company, encourage everyone to put their phones or other electronic gadgets away. You should use mealtime to teach your kids the value of a good, balanced diet because it has an impact on their entire mental health.

Create Rituals Between Parents and Children

Try to make a point of spending one-on-one time with each child if you have more than one. Spending quality one-on-one time with your child can improve the parent-child relationship, boost their self-esteem, and help them feel special and appreciated. To generate that one-on-one time, some parents plan special “date evenings” with their kids. Whether it’s a walk around the neighborhood, a trip to the playground, or just a movie at home, it’s crucial to celebrate each child uniquely.

Need More Assistance?

To assist and direct parents in creating a strong parent-child relationship, Alpha Connections provides a number of programs to parents and adolescents throughout the High Desert. Please get in touch with us to find out more about our program offerings.

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Getting Your Teen to Volunteer

Community service is a great way to teach responsibility. Developing a sense of gratitude and empathy for the less fortunate will go a long way in enriching their lives. It may be a challenge convincing them something is good for them, but it is important to instill this value as something they can appreciate and be passionate about.

Developing Their Helping Hand

Start by finding a cause where your teen may show an interest. Consider their abilities, the time commitment needed, and the attitude of the organization. Maybe they are interested in animals, children, sports, health, or senior citizens. Motivate them by explaining the purpose behind the volunteering.

Let them make their choices about who or what they are helping. No one likes to be forced to do something. They need to feel like they are trusted and can be independent. The more trust you put in them, the more responsible they will become to earn it. Do your best to empathize and be understanding with them. This will make them more open to compromise.

Teenagers are not always the best at listening to their parents, but they do see your actions. Walk your talk. If they see you with a passion for helping, they will be inspired to follow your example. Do your best to make it fun and interesting. Try to incorporate games into your learning activities. This works especially well if they are working with kids from poor communities. It can create a bond between your volunteer teens and the kids they are helping.

Be Sure to Offer Positive Feedback

If you want to keep their motivation strong, be sure to let them know they are appreciated. They want to feel noticed and know their efforts are recognized. That will inspire them to work harder. When you tell someone you appreciate what they do, they tend to work even harder.

Give your teen this purpose and let them do the work. Tell them to know you appreciate their efforts and see the hard work and improvement. Watch them grow up, work hard, and reap the benefits of their efforts. Your teen will grow up to be socially aware, confident, competent, and useful members of their society. Hopefully, they can help make a difference and can move on to inspire other young people. It is all worth the effort to help our youth succeed in life.

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Fighting With Your Teen

You tell your daughter she cannot borrow the car to drive to the mall until she finishes cleaning her room. She says it is her room, and she will keep it how she wants. From there, the conversation gets ugly with name-calling, yelling, and slamming doors. Now you are receiving the silent treatment from a sullen teenager while you walk on eggshells to keep the peace.

What Happens Now?

Raising teenagers can be a challenge. Your priorities and those of your teenager are completely different. She is worried about being invited to the prom or keeping up with the latest fashion trend. You are worried about getting the power bill paid and making sure she gets a good education. Having one of these arguments is rough, but learning to deal with the aftermath can help.

Your daughter may want a little time to cool off and process. Give her the space she needs to work through her feelings, and do not push her to “be okay” with you right away. There will be tension in the room, but hopefully, you will be able to tolerate it while you both process the argument. Maybe it is you that is causing the tension after building resentment by what your daughter said. Are you frustrated with yourself because you gave in? Are you sad because she hit too close to home? Be sure to examine your feelings to know you are not causing the tension. Do not worry. The tension is temporary and will eventually diffuse itself.

Apologize if you said something hurtful. Take responsibility for it and let your daughter know that you realize your imperfections. Do not apologize for setting boundaries or rules to follow. If she is giving you the silent treatment, just talk to her as you would any other day. If she does not respond, just go about your business.

Use your disagreement as an opportunity to show your daughter by example the best way to manage anger and tension. Let her know you love her even when she is mad at you. Check your feelings, and be sure not to hold a grudge. Most things said in the heat of anger are not worth hanging on to.

Your feelings during this cooling-off period are essential, and so are your daughter’s feelings. Do not discount either. Instead, say something like, “I know you are feeling angry after our fight just like I am. I hope when we are both feeling better, we can talk about it and then move on.” If your daughter feels respected and has the space to process her feelings, the tension will dissipate before you know it.

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Do You Smell Alcohol on Her Breath?

She must have seen the commercials on television about the pitfalls of teens drinking. But she came home from a friend’s house acting a little wobbly, and you could smell alcohol on her breath. She is too old to spank, so how do you react to this dangerous behavior?

Find Out Why

There could be a variety of reasons why your daughter decided to drink. She was at a party, and that is what all her friends were doing. She was afraid to turn down a drink because her friends would call her names or turn their back on her. If it has become a habit, the problems may go deeper. She may be dealing with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or stress. It is important to find out the underlying issue.

You can help her by staying calm. Listen to why she is drinking and let her know you understand that she faces pressure and challenges in her life. If she realizes that she can talk to you openly about her feelings, you will be more likely to get the information you need to help. Try to explain the dangers of teen drinking without the lecturing tone of voice. It can make you more depressed or lead to permanently damaged memory. Getting drunk can lead to bad decisions or even legal problems.

Communicate and Learn

Let your daughter know that you want to keep honest communication open, but they do need to learn the consequences of their unwise decision. Do not punish them by humiliating them in any way, or you will ruin that line of communication. Ask her what she feels her punishment should be. You might be surprised by what she produces.

Have your daughter do a research paper on underage drinking. This will help her to learn about the consequences of these actions. It may also be a wonderful way for the family to come together and brainstorm ways to deal with situations in their lives when alcohol might be present, like a slumber party or get-together. This could be a helpful exercise for the whole family.

Catching your teenage daughter drinking can be a serious situation, but with calm patience and effective communication, it is a problem through which you can work. You may even find it brings the family closer.

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What If My Teenager is a Thief

You got a beautiful necklace for the holidays, but the next time you decide to wear it, the necklace is not in your jewelry box. Then you hear your daughter was wearing one just like it at school, and you find it in her backpack. Your heart drops, you are disappointed, and you feel betrayed and downright angry. First, count to ten. Get past the emotional response and access the logical side of your brain. Most importantly, remember that this is a behavior, not a personality trait. Now you are ready to help them work through the situation.

Tips to Teaching Amends

It is understandable that you would feel hurt and betrayed when your child steals from you but try not to take the behavior personally. Their stealing is not about you or your parenting skills. Unfortunately, your teen has chosen an inappropriate way to solve their problem, and you can help change their thinking.

  • Do not let them think you see them as a horrible person. It bears repeating, remember this is behavior and not a personality trait. If they sense you have a bad opinion of them now, it could cause them to feel hopeless. They will lose hope in their ability ever to change.
  • Instead, shift the situation to the opposite way of thinking. Good people apologize when they make a mistake, not just because they got caught but because they hurt someone they care about. They also make amends for their behavior. Let your teen know you believe they are a good person, and you know they can do this too.
  • Let your daughter know that just because you want something does not mean it is okay to just take it without asking. This is faulty thinking. Ask her what she should do next time. Never let them benefit from stealing or keep what they took. If she still has the necklace, she should be required to return it with an apology, maybe even a written one, so she must think about the situation. Make sure there are consequences.
  • If she does not have the necklace anymore, she will have to work and earn money to replace it. If she does not have a regular job, then she can work around the house for designated points and be grounded until she has earned enough points to buy her restitution.

She needs to know there are consequences, but if you make amends, you can be forgiven and earn back trust. Your teenager is not a thief, she is a growing human who will make mistakes, and with a bit of patience, you can help her learn from those mistakes and grow into being a caring and loving adult.

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Opening Communication with Your Teen

Many parents believe that at some point around the time their kids become teenagers, their kids become foreign creatures who act bizarre, dress strangely, and are impossible to communicate with. It is important for parents to have open communication. It is also important for teens to be able to express themselves and be heard. Communication is one of the most powerful tools teens can have in their arsenal. Here are some tips for getting them armed for the future.

Steps to Teaching Effective Communication

Listening is the first and more important key to good communication. We need to encourage them to talk and then listen with interest when they do. Let them finish their thought without interrupting. It is vital that they know we hear them. Teach them to listen as well. Do not just demand they listen. Explain active listening to them and why it is important for them to use in the future.

Teenagers need specifics. When talking about issues, discuss behavior, not personalities traits. Try to be logical and not judgmental. Let them know what they need to be doing, but also let them know why. Knowing the reason for behavior helps them to reason through behaviors in the future. Also, please take this opportunity to teach them skills for communicating with adults. Sometimes they feel we are a little foreign too. Help them understand we are on the same side and want the same things.

When things get a little heated, take a break. Teach your teenager it is okay for them to ask for a break if they are getting a little overwhelmed. Be patient and allow them to gather their thoughts, catch their breath, and process the conversation. Teach them to do this as well and let them know that when speaking to adults, sometimes we are a little slow and need time to process information as well.

Communication is a vital tool, and teaching your teen how to use it correctly will serve them well in their future endeavors. Learn how to talk to your teen with patience and respect and teach them these communication skills as well. It is important to talk calmly, using logic instead of emotion. It is important to listen effectively without interrupting and letting them know you hear them. It is vital to communicate, a good skill for you, and a good skill to teach your teen for the future.

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Providing Support During the Holidays

While the holidays are undoubtedly pleasant for many, they can also cause problems for those in recovery. Not only do these celebrations often bring back reminders of times past, but the use of various substances during the holidays can make it hard for someone who has worked to get clean to stay that way. As a friend or family member, then, it is important to know how you can provide support during the holidays.

Don’t Leave Loved Ones Alone During the Holidays

For many, simply having a constant presence can work wonders. So don’t leave your loved one alone during the holidays, whether that means making sure that they have company during important events or simply checking in to have coffee from time to time. Isolation can be a significant issue during recovery, and those who find themselves struggling to connect are also those who might have the most prominent problems staying on the right path as the holidays come and go.

It’s also helpful to make sure that you provide safe alternatives for your friend or family member during his or her recovery. If the person in question is recovering from issues surrounding addiction, for example, you may want to avoid having parties in places that are closely tied to his or her addicted past. Likewise, simply being willing to stay sober during events can allow your friend or family member to feel like they are less alone.

The Importance of Time Management

Finally, make sure that your friend or family member isn’t using the holidays as an excuse to duck out of treatment. While business hours can change wildly during this time of year, make sure that you’re providing support to ensure that they can still get to therapy or attend meetings. Sometimes just being able to give someone a ride can be helpful.

Don’t be afraid to support a friend or family member who is going through recovery. Whether this means being present, providing stability, or just supporting the other person’s journey, you can do a great deal to help ensure that your friend or loved one has a better chance of making it through the holidays unscathed.

Family Psychotherapy. African American Couple Listening To Counselor's Advices During Therapy Session
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Discussing Intervention with a Teen

As a parent or guardian, it can be difficult to determine exactly how to start the conversation about treatment options with a teen. Not only do you broach a subject that’s difficult at best, but you may be looking at a situation that will generate a significant amount of pushback from the person who needs help the most. Learning how to start the conversation is often the best way to gain the confidence you need to move forward.

The Steps to Effective Interventions

It’s important to start by doing your research. There are necessarily going to be questions about what intervention looks like, how long your teen might need to be in a program, and other related factors. The more you know, the more you will be able to answer honestly. With that said, you also need to admit that you don’t have all of the answers so that you can honestly tell your teen what you know and what you do not.

From there, you need to think about the conversation itself. You’re doing this out of a concern for your teen, after all, and the conversation needs to center around him or her. A dialog is best, of course, but it’s not always a guarantee in these situations. Instead, you need to be able to calmly and honestly set out your concerns and your reasoning for choosing this particular intervention for the teen in your life. Centering things on your care for him or her may not make the conversation easier, but it may help you to avoid a more heated confrontation.

Finally, you’ll want to do what you can to get buy-in from the teen if possible. While it’s not a given in every situation, teens that go into intervention with the right mindset will usually have an easier time accepting the necessity of any program. If you can talk to your teen out of a place of love and concern while making sure to answer any of his or her questions as honestly as you can, you may be able to take the next steps as a team rather than in an adversarial relationship.