You CAN Teach An Old Dog New Tricks
“Families break up when people take hints you don’t intend and miss hints you do intend.” -Robert Frost
At the heart of relationships is the art of communication. How tragic that we do not spend as much time teaching our children the skills necessary to get along with others as we do teaching them math and reading. How frustrating that so many adults are unable to share their thoughts and feelings with loved ones. When couples seek counseling for their relationship, the most frequent complaints go something like… “We just don’t talk.” “I never feel heard.” “If she really loved me, she would stop interrupting me.” “He never tells me what he wants- he just clams up.” Although a poet and not a family therapist, Robert Frost was right. Families break up when people stop talking and listening to one another.
The good news is that you can begin to practice new skills at any time of your life if you are motivated. There is no statute of limitations on learning. Although it would be ideal to have a course in communication taught at every level of our school system, millions of men and women have learned the art of listening and effective conflict resolution at midlife or later. Why don’t you join them? This is the first key in How’s Your Family Really Doing? because it is a cornerstone of healthy relationships. If you want to inspire your children to talk out their problems (or if you have a bit of child in you) check out the song by Dr. Mac and Friends. It’s called Talk It Out.