Parenting Tips By My Guest Blogger

Parents, Listen Without Blocking Communication

My guest this week, Cynthia Klein, helps repair crumbling parent-teen relationships.  The results are grand.  If her words speak to you, contact her.  Power up parents.

I learned about  Communication Blocks many years ago when I studied the parenting program Active Parenting by Michael Popkin. PhD. Every private coaching client I have worked with has realized that they consistently block their children’s expression of their emotions. After becoming aware of not blocking communication, the next step is to learn how to listen with empathy. A great follow-up article is Listening to Children Builds Their Emotional Intelligence.

Communication Blocks

A communication block is any remark or attitude on the part of the listener that injures the speaker’s self-esteem to the extent that communication is broken off.





What it really says to the child or teen.


Commanding:  To control the situation and provide the child with quick solutions.“You don’t have the right to decide how to handle your own problems. ““What you should do is…” “Stop complaining.”

Giving Advice:  To influence the child with arguments or opinions “You don’t have the good sense to come up with your own solutions.”“I’ve got a good idea…” “Why don’t you…”

Placating:  To take away the child’s pain; to make her feel better “You don’t have a right to your feelings; you can’t handle discomfort.”“It isn’t as bad as it seems.” “Everything will be okay.”

Interrogating:  To get to the bottom of the problem and find out what the child did wrong. “You must have messed up somewhere.”“What did you do to him…”

Distracting:  To protect the child from the problem by changing the subject.“I don’t think you can stand the discomfort long enough to find a real solution.”“Let’s not worry about that,  let’s…”

Psychologizing:  To help prevent future problems by analyzing the child’s behavior and explaining his motives. “I know more about you than you know about yourself. Therefore, I’m superior to you.”“Do you know why you said that?” You’re just insecure.”

Sarcasm:  To show the child how wrong her attitudes or behavior are by making her feel ridiculous “You are ridiculous.”“Well, I guess that’s just about the end of the world.”

Moralizing:  To show the child the proper way to deal with the problem. “Don’t you dare choose your own values.”“The right thing to do would be to…”  “Oh, how awful.”

Know-it-all:  To show the child that he has a resource for handling any problem; namely, the parent. “Since I know it all, you must know nothing.”“The solution is really very simple.”

Which blocks do you do? A great follow-up article of mine is Listening to Children Builds Their Emotional Intelligence.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, or call 650. 341.0779.

Helping Businesses and Individuals Find Success Through Better Communication and Social Skills

having lunch with a CEO, business dining etiquetteRosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

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