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Twelve Ways Of Love


A technique well suited to initiate a conversation with children and youth and to maintain it is to listen actively. It requires parents to be able to get in the place of others to correctly decipher emotional messages behind the confidences of their children. To illustrate, we present another example from the Gordon family assembly and which we've altered in language:

SONIA: Hey Dad, what kind of girl you liked most when you were young? What were they?

FATHER: I suppose you wonder how you should be to please the kids. Is that it?

SONIA: Yeah, somehow I feel they do not like and do not know why.

The father has decoded the message correctly and has expressed what happens to your daughter. Thus the conversation gives a new meaning. It is no longer just what it was that the father seemed interesting for girls. The real problem is now the central theme: the insecurity and self-doubt of her daughter.



Children can speak more easily about their experiences and emotions attached to them when parents listen carefully and do not show immediately their own opinion. There are many possibilities of signaling, also without using words that really are listening very carefully: through eye contact, body posture with an attentive and open, and a nod from time to time, parents can express clearly are paying attention to your child. Thomas Gordon, in his book 'family assembly', calls this method 'passive attention'. An example could be the following conversation:

SARA: Today I have sent the principal's office.

MOTHER: Oh, really?

SARA: Yes, Mr. Wieser has said that talk too much.


SARA: I can not stand that old tyrannosaurus. He sits in his chair and tell us your problems or tell us about his grandson and hopes that interest us. You can not imagine how boring it is.

MOM: Hmmm.

SARA: It's so boring class. You get mad. The fault is that we spend all their class being silly. It is the worst teacher imaginable. It makes me furious.

MOTHER: (Silence).

SARA: When I have class with a good teacher, I attend and participate, but with someone like Mr. Wieser was removed I want to learn. Why become a teacher there?

MOTHER: (Shrugs).

SARA: Well, I will be forced to get used to it, I suppose we always have good teachers. There's more bad teachers than good, and if I let myself be overwhelmed by the bad I'll never have the notes I need for selectivity.

Listen attentively in silence but allows the child to vent his frustration and rage. The mother does not make any comment on emotional displays. This creates an emotional atmosphere. This creates an atmosphere that Sarah feels welcome and at the same time can find a kind of solution to the problem.

Many parents would have reacted to the confidences of your child very differently, 'sure you've gone to spend the chattering class! " , 'You've searched you!', 'Let's hope for you a lesson! ". Such reactions would have blocked other confidences of the son could hardly have come to find itself a possible solution to the problem.


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