Category Archives: Effective Communication

Talking To Your Child – Part 1 Of 3

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Love, Trust, Mutual Respect, and Quality Time make communication with your Child natural and easier.

Information For Parents And Guardians
Of Children

Sexual abuse is a difficult topic to discuss with others, especially children.  Conventional wisdom about what to say to children has changed in recent years and may be counterintuitive.

This section contains the latest information about the preventative discussions to have with your young children and teenagers, as well as what to do if you suspect he or she has been sexually abused.

Talking to Your Child About Sexual Abuse

When you empower your children to say “no” to unwanted touch and teach them that they can come to you with questions and concerns, you take critical steps to preventing child sexual abuse.

Talk to your children about sexuality and sexual abuse in age-appropriate terms.  Talking openly and directly about sexuality teaches children that it is okay to talk to you when they have questions.

Teach children the names of their body parts so that they have the language to ask questions and express concerns about those body parts.

Teach children that some parts of their bodies are private.

  • Let children know that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless they need to touch them to provide care.  If someone does need to touch them in those private areas, a parent or trusted caregiver should be there when it happens.
  • Tell children that if someone tries to touch those private areas or wants to look at them OR if someone tries to show them his or her own private parts, they should tell a trusted adult as soon as possible.

Teach your child boundaries and that it’s okay to say “no” to touches that make him or her uncomfortable or scared.

  • Teach your child how to say “no” when he or she is uncomfortable or scared and that he or she should tell a trusted adult as soon as possible.
  • Respect a child’s boundaries in play, teasing, and affection.
  • Assure your child that it is okay to get help, even if someone he or she cares about might be upset or embarrassed.
  • Know that telling a trusted adult can lead to a slightly embarrassing situation for you, your child, and those involved.
  • A child who then says he or she does not want to give a relative a hug or kiss can create tension.  Do not force the child to give the relative a hug or a kiss, because it is sending the wrong message to the child and teaches the child to ignore his or her confusing or uncomfortable feelings to the point where he or she does it anyway.  Work with your child to find ways to greet people that do not involve uncomfortable kinds of touch.

Talk openly about sexuality and sexual abuse to teach your child that these topics do not need to be “secret.”  Abusers will sometimes tell a child that the abuse should be kept a secret.  Let your child know that if someone is touching him or her or talking to him or her in ways that make him or her uncomfortable or scared, that it should not stay a secret.

  • Abusers rely on the child’s likelihood of not telling an adult.
  • Assure your child that he or she will not get into trouble if he or she tells you this kind of secret.

Do not try to put all this information into one big “talk” about sex.

  • Talking about sexuality and sexual abuse should be routine conversations.
  • Use everyday issues to begin conversations to help avoid a big “talk” about sex.

Be involved in your child’s life.

Be engaged in your child’s activities.

  • Ask your child about the people he or she goes to school with or plays with.
  • If your child is involved in sports, go to games and practices.  Get to know the other parents and coaches.
  • If your child is involved in after-school activities or day care, ask him or her what he or she did during the day.

Know the other adults that your child might talk to.

  • Children sometimes feel that they cannot talk to their parents.
  • Identify and tell your child who the other trusted adults are in his or her life.

Talk about the media and technology.

If your child watches a lot of television or plays video games, watch or play with him or her.

  • Ask him or her questions about technology you do not understand.
  • Many TV shows show sexual violence of different kinds.
  • Some video games allow the user to engage in sexual violence.
  • Discuss the Internet, the child’s surfing habits, and online safety tips.

Use examples from TV or games that you have watched or played together to start up conversations about sexuality and sexual abuse.

Be available.

Make time to spend with your child.

Let your child know that he or she can come to you if he or she has questions or if someone is talking to him or her in a way that makes him or her feel uncomfortable or scared.

  • Make time to talk to your child when he or she comes to you with concerns or questions.

AMBER ALERT CANCELLED – SHE IS FOUND!

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Chastinea Takyra Reeves has been found!

Chastinea Takyra Reeves Has Been #Found!

This is a very special Blessing!

I want to say THANK YOU!!!! to Mr. Martell Bone, a Veteran of Our Armed Forces, for passing the word on to me.

We also want to say THANK YOU!!! to all you caring people for your prayers, and well-wishes.

Have a GREAT DAY!!!!

Assert Yourself

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Effective Communication

Improving communication skills #4:  Assert yourself

Direct, assertive expression makes for clear communication and can help boost self-esteem and decision-making.  Being assertive means expressing your thoughts, feelings, and needs in an open and honest way, while standing up for yourself and respecting others.  It does NOT mean being hostile, aggressive, or demanding.  Effective communication is always about understanding the other person, not about winning an argument or forcing your opinions on others.

To improve assertiveness:

  • Value yourself and your opinions.  They are as important as anyone else’s.
  • Know your needs and wants.  Learn to express them without infringing on the rights of others.
  • Express negative thoughts in a positive way.  It’s OK to be angry, but you must be respectful as well.
  • Receive feedback positively.  Accept compliments graciously, learn from your mistakes, ask for help when needed.
  • Learn to say “no.”  Know your limits and don’t let others take advantage of you.  Look for alternatives so everyone feels good about the outcome.

Developing assertive communication techniques

  • Empathetic assertion conveys sensitivity to the other person. First, recognize the other person’s situation or feelings, then state your needs or opinion.  “I know you’ve been very busy at work, but I want you to make time for us as well.”
  • Escalating assertion can be used when your first attempts are not successful.  You become increasingly firm as time progresses, which may include outlining consequences if your needs are not met.  For example, “If you don’t abide by the contract, I’ll be forced to pursue legal action.”
  • Practice assertiveness in lower risk situations to start with to help build up your confidence.  Or ask friends or family if you can practice assertiveness techniques on them first.

Source: helpguide.org

Keep Stress In Check

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Keep Stress In Check

Improving communication skills #3:  Keep stress in check

To communicate effectively, you need to be aware of and in control of your emotions.  And that means learning how to manage stress. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to misread other people, send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of behavior.

How many times have you felt stressed during a disagreement with your spouse, kids, boss, friends, or coworkers and then said or done something you later regretted?  If you can quickly relieve stress and return to a calm state, you’ll not only avoid such regrets, but in many cases you’ll also help to calm the other person as well.  It’s only when you’re in a calm, relaxed state that you’ll be able to know whether the situation requires a response, or whether the other person’s signals indicate it would be better to remain silent.

Staying calm under pressure

In situations such as a job interview, business presentation, high-pressure meeting, or introduction to a loved one’s family, for example, it’s important to manage your emotions, think on your feet, and effectively communicate under pressure. These tips can help:

  • Use stalling tactics to give yourself time to think.  Have a question repeated, or ask for clarification of a statement before responding.
  • Pause to collect your thoughts.  Silence isn’t necessarily a bad thing—pausing can make you seem more in control than rushing your response.
  • Make one point and provide an example or supporting piece of information.  If your response is too long or you waffle about a number of points, you risk losing the listener’s interest.  Follow one point with an example and then gauge the listener’s reaction to tell if you should make a second point.
  • Deliver your words clearly.  In many cases, how you say something can be as important as what you say.  Speak clearly, maintain an even tone, and make eye contact.  Keep your body language relaxed and open.
  • Wrap up with a summary and then stop.  Summarize your response and then stop talking, even if it leaves a silence in the room.  You don’t have to fill the silence by continuing to talk.

Quick stress relief for effective communication

When things start to get heated in the middle of a conversation, you need something quick and immediate to bring down the emotional intensity.  By learning to quickly reduce stress in the moment, though, you can safely face any strong emotions you’re experiencing, regulate your feelings, and behave appropriately. When you know how to maintain a relaxed, energized state of awareness—even when something upsetting happens—you can remain emotionally available and engaged.

To deal with stress during communication:

  • Recognize when you’re becoming stressed.  Your body will let you know if you’re stressed as you communicate.  Are your muscles or your stomach tight and/or sore?  Are your hands clenched? Is your breath shallow?  Are you “forgetting” to breathe?
  • Take a moment to calm down before deciding to continue a conversation or postpone it.
  • Bring your senses to the rescue and quickly manage stress by taking a few deep breaths, clenching and relaxing muscles, or recalling a soothing, sensory-rich image, for example.  The best way to rapidly and reliably relieve stress is through the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.  But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.
  • Look for humor in the situation.  When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress when communicating.  When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or amusing story.
  • Be willing to compromise.  Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone concerned.  If you realize that the other person cares much more about something than you do, compromise may be easier for you and a good investment in the future of the relationship.
  • Agree to disagree, if necessary, and take time away from the situation so everyone can calm down.  Take a quick break and move away from the situation. Go for a stroll outside if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating.  Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.

Source: helpguide.org

Nonverbal Signals

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Pay attention to nonverbal signals

Improving communication skills #2:  Pay attention to nonverbal signals

When we communicate things that we care about, we do so mainly using nonverbal signals.  Nonverbal communication, or body language, includes facial expressions, body movement and gestures, eye contact, posture, the tone of your voice, and even your muscle tension and breathing.  The way you look, listen, move, and react to another person tells them more about how you’re feeling than words alone ever can.

Developing the ability to understand and use nonverbal communication can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships at home and work.

  • You can enhance effective communication by using open body language—arms uncrossed, standing with an open stance or sitting on the edge of your seat, and maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking to.
  • You can also use body language to emphasize or enhance your verbal message—patting a friend on the back while complimenting him on his success, for example, or pounding your fists to underline your message.

Tips for improving how you read nonverbal communication

  • Be aware of individual differences.  People from different countries and cultures tend to use different nonverbal communication gestures, so it’s important to take age, culture, religion, gender, and emotional state into account when reading body language signals.  An American teen, a grieving widow, and an Asian businessman, for example, are likely to use nonverbal signals differently.
  • Look at nonverbal communication signals as a group.  Don’t read too much into a single gesture or nonverbal cue.  Consider all of the nonverbal signals you receive, from eye contact to tone of voice to body language.  Anyone can slip up occasionally and let eye contact slip, for example, or briefly cross their arms without meaning to.  Consider the signals as a whole to get a better “read” on a person.

Tips for improving how you deliver nonverbal communication

  • Use nonverbal signals that match up with your words.  Nonverbal communication should reinforce what is being said, not contradict it.  If you say one thing, but your body language says something else, your listener will likely feel you’re being dishonest.  For example, you can’t say “yes” while shaking your head no.
  • Adjust your nonverbal signals according to the context.  The tone of your voice, for example, should be different when you’re addressing a child than when you’re addressing a group of adults. Similarly, take into account the emotional state and cultural background of the person you’re interacting with.
  • Use body language to convey positive feelings even when you’re not actually experiencing them.  If you’re nervous about a situation—a job interview, important presentation, or first date, for example—you can use positive body language to signal confidence, even though you’re not feeling it.  Instead of tentatively entering a room with your head down, eyes averted, and sliding into a chair, try standing tall with your shoulders back, smiling and maintaining eye contact, and delivering a firm handshake.  It will make you feel more self-confident and help to put the other person at ease.

Source: helpguide.org