Crushed: When Parenting is Hard, is about healing the wounds parents experience when they have had a rough spell with a teen or young adult. The book moves parents from grief to healing, regrounding and then re-building trust with teens. An adult can have the best training and education available, but if they don't have the trust of the young people, they are powerless.
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Melissa and Chip’s 5 Tips on building trust
Eyes: Eye contact is a primal and a key piece in human development making it a key component in communication.
Refrain from: Not looking at teens while speaking. There’s a hidden message is being sent when someone won’t look at us. Disinterest, disapproval, hurt, embarrassment….
Focus on: Undivided attention. Studies have shown that eye contact is healing and builds trust. Let a young person know that they have you are invested in them without judgement. Even if you’re upset with something they have done.
Predictable Responses: Remain calm. Nothing shuts a teen down and puts up a wall faster than reacting instead of responding. If you notice your reaction is BIG, then it’s time to reflect on why.
Healthy Expectations: Check yourself
Refrain from: Expectations that are about you. Is your self-worth impacted by their actions and choices? Whose self-esteem is being boosted? Are you embarrassed their failures are yours?
Focus on: The teen’s personal and emotional growth. Do your expectations add value to their education, experience and path to adulthood?
Boundaries: You are the adult. Healthy boundaries are modeled.
Refrain from: Ridicule, sarcasm, patronizing, name calling
Focus on: Freedom to say yes/no, allowing them to ‘feel what they feel’, permission to express feelings, support in their personal growth process.
Active Listening: Do you listen to respond or listen to hear?
Refrain from: Stop phrases. Cliché statements that will shut someone down and belittle how they feel. ‘It’s all good’- maybe it’s not? Talking over. A great way to shut someone down who needs to be heard is to talk over them and insert your ‘advice’ before they are done sharing
Focus on: Eye contact, holding space to allow them to cry, vent, and ‘hear’ themselves. Leading questions- direct the conversation to growth instead of negative thoughts.
Check out Crushed: When Parenting is Hard- A Journey to Strength and Hope