As a personal development trainer, many of the tweens and teens I ‘talk’ to tell me that no one is listening. I find them desperate to talk, to off load and to express themselves but that is because I am neither their parent or their teacher. I am a neutral person, someone not related to home or school. I have become very privileged to be the only adult to hear some very personal life experiences of some wonderful kids. They come to me sad, angry, hostile, fed up or in the middle of some teenage angst or drama, or a very real family or personal life experience that they need support to cope with.
What does real listening look like? I have learnt through the years that there are four parts to every teenager told story and there is a definite skill involved in getting to the final (and real) part. It takes time, commitment and a lot of deep care from a very calm, present adult. This adult needs to offer a safe, non-threatening...
I have been very blessed as I am in a long term loving marriage. As I happily enter my third decade with my husband I feel I can share my own thoughts and experiences on what the magic is for a long and healthy relationship. But these principals apply to all our relationships, whether they are with a friend, colleague or family member.
1) Focus firstly on yourself
I believe it is a very simple recipe and it is the same one I apply to myself, my parenting journey as well as being a wife, a friend etc. That is to focus first and foremost on myself. To be the healthiest version of myself. To be fully accountable and responsible for myself in thought, word and deed. By not expecting my husband, son or friend to do that for me I don't give my power away, and anything they do contribute is a total bonus.
It is so important to speak our own truth. I have learnt to be as Mindful of my own...