Keep Talking

There is talking and then there is communication, just as there is hearing and listening. When you are with the person that you love, communication, and listening is very important. This is your mate, your partner. You got their back and they got yours. However, is it always as easy to communicate?


Well, the truth is that it is never that easy because after all, men are from Mars and women from Venus. Real communication takes work. When I married my husband years ago, I thought he was a snob because one moment he would be all bubbly and joyful and then the next minute, he would be silent. I would later come to learn that his personality was somewhat of a mixture of extrovert and introvert.


Long story short, I learned how to communicate effectively. It took time, so don’t push it. Keep working at it, it will happen.


Handle important dialogues as they arise

couple drinking coffee

Do not postpone an important matter. Talk it out as soon as it comes up. If there is something bothering your mind, spit it out at the most timely moment. Most people get the timing wrong. There are times when you cannot discuss serious matters. For example, when there are guests in the house, that is no time to try and get your partner’s attention. Talk about everything when there is time, even issues like keeping a nice clean floor.


Keep an open mind


No matter how ready you think you are, serious conversations can always flare up with little or no notice. You need to be ready. If it does not turn out the way you had expected, you should always shift the gears, or shelf it all together to wait for another day. It is not a matter of life and death, is it?


Always tell the truth


Tell the truth as you know it, and not as you think it should be. As an equal partner in the relationship, your no should be no and your yes should be yes. If you are honest, you will make your partner know how you feel about some things, and they will open up to you. Do not worry about how your partner will receive the truth. As long as it is the truth, speak it out.


Always give your partner the opportunity to respond


This applies mostly to women as they can really talk, talk and talk some more especially when they are vexed by something. However, it need not be like that. With love, patience and understanding, let the other party respond.


A good conversation happens when you give the other party time to respond without interrupting them. They too have their truth. Let them have time to speak it out.


No guilt trips


This is one of the biggest relationship killers. People make errors in relationships and therefore using the same errors against them all the time is totally uncalled for. You do not want to bring up the past too much. Just talk about the issue at hand, and you will be good.

Teach Them About Bullies

A few years ago, meanness was only supposed to start somewhere in middle grade. Today, however, it starts as soon as your kid steps into kindergarten. I grew out of the thinking that all early school kids are nice, warm and lovely when my kid came home with an injured lip. A smaller child had thrown him against the wall. And that is when I decided to look up a few skills that parents can teach their children about bullying. But tell you what; I was not worried that my kid was being bullied at school. I was more worried that he would himself turn into a bully, and then I would have a compounded problem on my hands.


So how do you teach your kids about bullying? How can you prevent them from being bullies?


Here are a few tips that I gathered for parents like me:


Do not tell your child to fight back

Do not tell your child to fight back

Ok, I know us the baby boomer children were taught to stand up for ourselves and fight like men. However, this is the 21st century and it is very dangerous to make your child fight back. If you do that, you will have compounded problems. Instead, tell the child to know who bullied him or her and report to you, or to the teacher.


Report to the school authorities


Preschool teachers are trained very well, to handle all manner of volatile situations in class. If your child has experienced bullying in school, let the school authorities know. Let the teachers know who bullied who, what they did or said, and the school will solve that.


To walk away from trouble


Teach your child how to identify bullies and stay away from them. You are not teaching the kid to be a coward. Rather, like the Kenny Rodgers’ song Coward of the county, you are teaching the kid to know that not every battle is worth fighting.  


Also, teach the child to report the bully to the teachers or any other adult. One thing that makes bullies flourish is when no one stands up to them. However, standing up to someone does not mean getting physical.


Let the parents of the bully know


Sometimes, even the parents of the culprits are not aware that their child is a bully. Call them, describe what happened and the steps that you took. The school authorities will call the parents of the bully kid too. Most importantly, you will be looking for an opportunity to make amends with them. If they appear willing to work with you, you can come with a way forward to ensure that your child is not bullied anymore. You have to make the approach right though.


Control your child

boy yelling to a girl

Maybe your child is the bully. You can know this by the calls you will get from the teachers, and from other parents as well. It is also important to note any undue bullying tendencies from a tender age. If your kid bullies her siblings, is very aggressive with pets, very possessive with his items, those are signs of a bully. Start giving him attention, start teaching him how to respect others so he can be respected. Above all, every child should learn that there are consequences for every action.


Teach your children not to be intimidated


If your child is being bullied, teach him to speak out, to look the bully in the eye and say, “don’t you dare hit me!” in a loud voice. Bullies hate attention. Teach your kid to also stand up for others. When one kid comes to the rescue of another from a bully, that shows empathy, and of course, two are better than one.