"They always said the exact things that deep down you already knew, would never admit, and most certainly never wanted to hear.” ...on kids.
― Cecelia Ahern, A Place Called Here
Kids are honest. Unapologetically. At times brutally.
What seems to happen to a lot of kids as they get a little older is this covering up though. The honesty and openness are not given away as freely. You have to work for it, to hear what it is they have to say.
I believe conversations are a doorway into the world of youth. Sometimes, though, conversations and communicating looks different than we think. It can be hard to break through for a lot of reasons, in part because of where individuals may be in their development. Here are a few ideas for enhancing communication if you live with, work with, or are invested in youth:
1. Spend time getting to know them and their interests.
Everyone has strengths. Once you know what they are you can keep building on them. You have to get to know the person to find out who they are and what they are interested in.
2. Find out how they learn best.
Are they auditory learners, visual learners, tactile learners? This may influence how they communicate and how they respond to people.
Listen. And listen some more.
4. Recognize their creativity and uniqueness.
Appreciate that everyone is unique. Find out where their creativity lies. Don't try to force what isn't there. See what they naturally gravitate to.
5. Give them materials and mediums to express themselves.
Do your kids work with their hands or build things; will they create artwork if given the chance? Can they express themselves through writing or making music? Encourage them in these pursuits.
6. Be a communicator yourself.
Model and demonstrate what healthy communication looks like.
How do some of the changes and advancements made in some areas of communication affect youth as they grow up?
How can we continue to hear and invest in kids and the challenges they face?
*This post was inspired by Lisa-Jo's Five Minute Friday. It took me until the end of the weekend to blog but I went in a little different direction from her topic of "Here." Thankful for the ladies at Five Minute Friday. Here's to forging ahead into another week!