Saturday, November 9, 2013


“Constantly talking isn't necessarily communicating.”
― Charlie Kaufman

Communication with your kids is important.  Everyone knows how vital communication is to the success of every relationship.  How many articles have been written about how to talk to your spouse, your parents, your friends, your boss and your dog?  For many years, even though I earned a bachelor's degree in communication, I thought it was all about talking.  But communication is about an entire environment of verbal and non-verbal cues.


 In my home, I have an intentional atmosphere for my kids. In that atmosphere there is no yelling (OK, EVERY now and again I say "GET YOUR JACKETS!").  There are outlawed words:  "stupid," "dumb," and "shut up" are a few examples.  Most of our time is spent together downstairs.  We may be in different rooms, but my house isn't terribly large so we can talk with each other or, if we're not in the mood for talking, we can at least SEE each other.  My home is intentionally SAFE for my kids.  While I try not to over-praise them (kids totally see through that stuff...they know they can't be great at EVERYTHING), I do consistently honor them by respecting them with my words and my actions in our home.  I hope they feel loved and cherished.  I have intentionally set up an environment where they can feel safe enough to say ANYTHING they want to...within reason.

That is not to say that we don't joke around.  A lot.  They have the misfortune of having a mother who relishes sarcasm and who appreciates their growing senses of humor so much that I allow boundaries to be pushed PROBABLY a little further than they should be.  As they ease more into the adults they will become, I enjoy bantering with them back and forth. 

This morning, Thing 2 and I were exchanging texts.  He used the phrase "U r busy" and then proceeded to regale me with ALL the various text acronyms he's picked up.  I responded back with my own text talk just to show him that I'm TOTALLY still hip and with it.

And then...

Thing 2 will not get into trouble for testing (or texting) his boundaries by using WTF.  I was actually fairly amused by it.  But he KNOWS that he was testing a boundary and will, most likely, not use it again for a while.  Until he decides to test me a liittttle bit more.

But the beautiful thing about it is that he feels SAFE to test those boundaries.  He communicates with me easily and often.  Thing 1 is slightly different because he communicates far less (both verbally and non-verbally).  But I know that he feels safe to talk with me because we've had some jaw-dropping conversations over the past year or so.  (I did a good job on the outside but on the INSIDE my eyeballs were rolling back in my head and my jaw was on the floor.)

And now I'm going to go bone up on my text talk.  Apparently, THIS is how we'll roll. BRB.

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