August 21, 2015 ~ Hello Parenting and Educating Partners!!!! I have been thinking about ALL of you lately as God has been teaching me to dive into the deeper waters of HIS compassion, and how to be a better and more effective “Compassionate Communicator!” One of the GREATEST lessons I have most recently learned is; to Be or Become a “compassionate communicator,” one must first have HOPE!!!! Hope begins with a change of focus!!!
As a parent we are often caught saying things such as; “I hope my child develops this or that skill….or I hope he or she does not get into trouble…..or that he/she gets good grades….or simply I hope my child will grow up happy!” Even if our communication is non-verbal…they can pick up the emotional undertones of our gestures and negative presence. The problem with these statements or actions, is the fact that they each have a breath of “negative” expectation in them!!! True “hope” is a strong, and confident expectation that the element hoped for will happen!!! Unfortunately, when hope is communicated it is often accompanied with an anxious side comment/undertone…that leads us to become “wishy-washy” in our belief!!! This type of communication to our children, or to others is based far more in fear and unbelief, than in true hope! A Pastor recently shared; “Fear is the anticipation of something bad is going to happen, coupled with a desire to flee!” We often experience this in our parenting or educating, but it looks more like the desire to “fix!” This is NOT compassionate communication!! True Hope requires an action-oriented heart of faith in the words (verbal and non-verbal) that are communicated to our children! I call this “compassionate communication!”
So….Let’s Re-Focus….a GREAT privilege to make a parenting U-Turn!!!!
As many of you know….children have been some of the GREATEST Teachers in my life!!! I believe that they come straight from the heart of God and are truly a gift!!! Sometimes they bring tough lessons for us…but to me I translate the toughness to mean DEEP, STRONG, and LOVE based lessons!!!! Communication is one of those lessons!!! Our children need to know that we understand and believe that WORDS, COMMUNICATION (verbal and non-verbal) matter…not just “good or nice words, or good, nice gestures, faces, or behavior,” but ALL communication!!!! We must remember that ALL behavior has a communication!
When we look at the definition of “compassion,” we can see that when we use it in our communication it has the potential of leaving a life long “voice print or heart print” on their lives!!! Compassion speaks loudly in the realm of; “no matter what, I believe in you…I get your challenge, your trouble, your suffering!” Children of ALL ages need to hear, feel, or perceive our communicative intent from our hearts of compassion! When we take the first steps to re-focus…we must take inventory of the impact of our communication! Here are my reminders….I pray that they speak to your hearts and minds…and your mouths….verbal and non-verbal! : )
C ~ Communicate with an openness for the child or adult to “come and enter” the conversation!”
O ~ Observe the child or adult’s posture during the communication
M ~ Mend negativity quickly
P ~ Put LOVE filled phrases first, even in the difficult moments
A ~ Assess how the child or adult is receiving your communication
S ~ Say the hard things in love, grace, and mercy
S ~ See the “meaning” in ALL communicative exchanges
I ~ Keep your “I” smaller…..compassionate communication should be focused on the other person not on our “I”
O ~ Open your ears, eyes, and heart….visualize the biggest ears, the largest heart, and the widest eyes possible to hear the child or adult’s heart!
N ~ Never dismiss any form of communication from a child or an adult
A ~ Always be ready to LISTEN (use your ELEPHANT SIZED ears and feet, as they listen with BOTH…we can learn a lot from that practice!!!) (My version is STAY cool with the big ears…feet planted to HOLD the conversation in a loving space)
T ~ Take each communicative exchange as it is your last with the child or adult (This practice should truly change your life)
E ~ End all communicative exchanges with GRATITUDE!!!!!
So….give it a try….BECOME a new and improved…”Compassionate Communicator”….I trust you will SEE and HEAR AMAZING results!!!! My LOVE to each of you ~ DK