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Communication

Keeping Your Cool when Things Get Hot

Being able to effectively communicate with kids can be challenging, especially when anger or frustration sets in.  Emotions can make it difficult for us to say what we mean and for others to understand what we are trying to say.  The next time you find yourself trying to communicate with someone who is angry, keep these 3 things in mind:

  1.  Take a breath – even the most important message is useless if you can’t communicate it effectively.  When others become angry, it is important to remain calm and realize that they aren’t hearing what you are trying to say.  The last thing you want to do is become angry yourself!  Taking a breath will help you to keep your emotions under control so things don’t spin out of control.
  2. Take a look & listen – instead of trying to get someone who is angry to hear what you are saying, try instead to stop and listen to what they are saying. Pay special attention to the words they are saying, the facial expressions they have, and their body language ( physical gestures or movements are examples).  All of these things are pieces of information that can help you better understand the other person and adjust how you are communicating with them.
  3. Take a break – sometimes the best thing to do when trying to communicate with an angry kid is to stop and take a break, especially if you are beginning to get angry.  When using this approach, be sure to let them know that you don’t want to have an angry conversation and that taking time to calm down is the best thing for everyone.  Before walking away, let them know that you want to speak with them when everyone is calm and the importance of talking through the issue.
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