ABC’s of Communication

Adventure Based Counseling techniques for debriefing from an exercise has to do with the belief that everyone has the right and ability to add to the conversation.  I have borrowed these exact same techniques for teaching kids how to engage appropriately with parents.

Yes, young children can input their feelings and understandings using these same basic questions.

Adolescents will thrive in the educational system by being acquainted and raised with these questions and expectations.  (How smart is the parent who gives the child the floor, rather than lecturing out of frustration.)

Here they are again–those basic Questions—cutting, pasting, enlarging, PRINTING and POSTING on the Refrigerator Door is an okay Idea——

WHAT?

SO WHAT?

NOW WHAT?

Very Simply:

1.  WHAT? —what was to have happened?  (what task or expectation was asked of the child in terms of following the Refrigerator Rules?)

2. SO WHAT? —what actually happened? (remember, let the child do the explaining–no help or lecturing from the parent.)

3.  NOW WHAT? —what will the child do the next time this occurs?

If you run into difficulties with #3, then refer back to the Refrigerator Rules and start again.

Remember, everything STOPS while you apply the Rules.  (When you are on your way to an appointment/school/etc, you may apply this while your child is riding  in the car with you.  If #3 still continues to be an issue in regard to the RULES, then continue this style of communication once you return home.  Do NOT let previous commitments prevent you from using this protocol (or you will suddenly find yourself swamped in poor choices just before you leave home.)

Hint:  the earlier you start your children (and yourself) on these basic formulas for SUCCESS, it easier it will be as they grow older.

Consistent, gentle application—it works, it really does.

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