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Communicating with your “Tween” Kati Willis, LPC RCMS 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Communicating with your “Tween” Kati Willis, LPC RCMS 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communicating with your “Tween” Kati Willis, LPC RCMS 2012

2  Parenting Style Quiz  Parenting Styles Child Temperament  Influence on family dynamics  Strategic Listening  How to talk about difficult subjects - Sex, drugs, alcohol, relationships, suicide  Communication Tips  Conversation Starters

3 1. If your son hits a child at a sports practice. What would you do? a. Get mad at your son's actions, and tell the other child to hit him back. b. Ignore the kids and let them handle it. c. Tell him not to hit other people, make him apologize, and if this is a second offense, take away one of his privileges.

4 2. Your son and his friends have made a big mess, and now they want to go outside. What would you do? a. Yell at them to clean up. b. Go ahead and let them go outside, while you clean. c. Help them clean by making a game out of it.

5 3. You and your pre- teen daughter are renting a few movies, and she wants to rent an R- rated movie that all of her friends have seen. What would you do? a. Get mad, telling her she can't rent the movie. b. Go ahead and let her watch the movie. c. Tell her no and help her find a more appropriate movie.

6 4. You daughter is procrastinating her bedtime by saying that she would like something to eat. What would you do? a. Make her go to bed hungry because it's her bedtime. b. Go ahead and let her eat a snack before bed. c. Give her a healthy snack, but tell her it's the last time she gets a late- night snack because she'll need to start eating more at dinner.

7 5. What do you do if you kids don't do their chores? a. Yell and make them do them right then. b. Do the chores yourself. c. Remind them that they need to do their chores.

8 6. What do you do when your child whines and has a tantrum? a. Send him to his room. b. Give in, in hopes to stop him. c. Wait till he's done with his tantrum and explain to him there are better ways to express his frustration.

9 7. If your child gets in trouble, what do you do? a. Yell or spank the child. b. Don't do anything. c. Discipline the child and then explain that there are better choices to make.

10 8. Your son wants a certain toy that he sees at the grocery store. What do you do? a. Tell him that he can't have the toy. b. Buy it for him to prevent a potential scene. c. Tell him no, but explain that when he saves up his money, you'll take him back so that he can purchase the toy himself.

11 9. What do you do if you pre- school aged daughter had a nightmare and wakes you up? a. Get mad because she woke you up and tell her to just go back to bed. b. Let her sleep wherever she wants, even if that means in your bed. c. Comfort her and try to help her back to sleep once she's calmed down.

12 10. What is the main goal of parenting and discipline? a. To get your children to listen to adults no matter what. b. To make sure that everyone is happy. c. To teach your children why rules are important and to help them learn how to make good choices.

13  If you had more 'A' answers, you are more of an authoritarian parent. Authoritarian parents exert a high level of control over children’s behaviors.  They stress the importance of obedience in regards to authority. Most authoritarian parents rely on punishment to shape behavior. High expectations to conform. Demanding of their children but not particularly responsive to their children’s emotional needs or concerns.

14  If you had more 'B' answers, you are more of a permissive parent. Permissive parents are responsive to the emotional needs of their children but are not demanding. Tend to set few boundaries or behavioral expectations for their children. Fewer rules and more freedom than other styles (no schedules, few chores, etc.). Most permissive parents do not have the same behavioral expectations as the other parenting types.

15  If you had more 'C' answers, you are more of an authoritative parent. Authoritative parents believe that both the parent and children have certain rights that are of equal importance. They tend to set clear rules and behavioral expectations for their children but allow significant freedom and independence. Most authoritative parents are sure of their control and don’t need threats of punishment or physical force to keep their children on track.


17  Parenting style is directly related to the emotional and social development of children.  Parenting styles are a strong influence on the household dynamics.  Parenting style is directly related to the kind of relationship parents have with their children.

18 Authoritarian parenting styles generally lead to children who are obedient and proficient, but they rank lower in happiness, social competence and self-esteem. Authoritative parenting styles tend to result in children who are happy, capable and successful (Maccoby, 1992). Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school. Uninvolved parenting styles rank lowest across all life domains. These children tend to lack self-control, have low self-esteem and are less competent than their peers.


20  If two parents have different styles, the kids already know it. They use it to their advantage. EX: Dad will say no, I’ll ask mom instead  Important for parents to compromise and be consistent, present a united front. Issue of balance and overcompensation. Emotional needs vs. expectations.

21  Do we really listen?  flow of information changes  Level of disclosure changes  Fixing is not listening  Confusion, loss, anxiety  Over-control  Buddy boundaries  Disengage

22  The most effective way to improve communication is to become a better listener  Types of STRATEGIC listening: 4 levels  Facts  Meaning  Feeling  Intention ©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

23  People/children want to convey information.  Our task is to listen for details and clarify.  We need to ask "Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?"  Our goal is to picture the situation as the person/child is describing it. ©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

24  People/children want to make themselves understood.  Our task is to listen for the big picture; summarize and paraphrase.  We need to ask "Am I understanding you correctly?"  "Is this what you're getting at?"  Our goal is to understand what the person/child means — and make the other person/child feel understood ©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

25  Level 3 Feelings  People/children want to connect on an emotional level.  Our task is to listen with empathy; pay attention to body language and tone of voice.  We need to ask "How do you feel about it?"  "It sounds to me like you're feeling..."  Our goal is to recognize how the person/child is feeling — and make the other person feel understood and connected. ©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

26  People/children want to get their needs met.  Our task is to listen for wants and needs; focus on solutions, action steps, and outcomes  We need to ask "What do you want to have happen?"  "What would help you in this situation?"  "What can you/we do about it?"  Our goal is to know what the person/child wants to achieve. ©Chris Witt, all rights reserved.

27 Why is effective communication with my child so important?

28 CDC, 2009 : Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)  The 2009 YRBSS included a national school-based survey conducted by CDC, 47 state surveys, four territory surveys, two tribal government surveys, and 23 local surveys conducted among students in grades 9–12 during October 2008—February 2010.

29 Sex  46% of high school students have already had sexual intercourse (average age = 17)  14% had already had sex with 4 or more partners  50% of 15 to 19 yr. olds (oral sex)  Average age of first sexual experience = 15.8 Drugs  37% had smoked marijuana once or more (lifetime)  21% in the past 30 days  11% had sniffed glue or inhaled aerosol, paint or some form of chemicals to get high once or more (lifetime)

30 Alcohol  42% had at least 1 drink on at least 1 day w/in the last 30 days  24% had 5 or more drinks in a row in a few hours time on at least 1 day (binge drinking) Suicide  14% seriously considered attempting suicide w/in last 12 mo.  11% made a plan to kill themselves  6.3% attempted suicide once or more

31 Now is the time to start communicating about these topics. Do not wait until they approach you – your silence tells them YOU are not ready to discuss these topics. They’re waiting…..

32  Do not wait until they get in trouble  Talk to them in a matter-of-fact manner  Do not get emotional  Maintain good boundaries (do not overshare)  Allow someone else you trust to talk to them about these issues if you are not comfortable  Do not underestimate their exposure to inappropriate materials  Do not underestimate their level of “maturity”  Assume they know more than you think they do

33  Tell me what you know, talk to me about how you feel about….sex, drugs, etc…  In the next couple of months/years, you’re going to face some situations without me….how will you handle it if…when….what will you say?  You know how I feel about drinking. No matter how angry you think I might be, I need you to call me if you’re ever in a car with someone who is drinking. I PROMISE not to lecture or punish you about it that night.  I need for you to know that no matter what decisions you make, whether I agree or not…I will love and support you.

34  Depression: sleep, eating, motivation, school  Suicidal ideations, preoccupation with death  Self-injury  Attempts to communicate typically result in arguing  Disconnect/Shut out  Drug use (suspicions)  Delinquency  Runaway  Sexual behavioral problems

35  Baumguard, 1967, 1971, 1973, 1978  McCobey & Martin, 1983  Rhee, 2006  Hill & Tyson, 2009  Witt – 2011  CDC – YRBSS, 2009  Ybarra & Mitchell, 2005

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