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Parenting in the Rain, Episode 8

The Art of Truly Connection with Our Kiddos in a Way That Makes a Difference

In This Episode:

  • The guest expert for this show is Susan Blakeslee, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Professional Artist.
  • Active listening is paying attention with your MIND, BODY, and SOUL.
  • Understanding what is behind the words is an important focus of active listening.
  • The person being listened to feels validated in this kind of listening, which encourages people to be more open.  This can result in the sharing of more information.
  • When someone is feeling a certain emotion, instead of telling them that they shouldn’t be feeling a certain way, simply reflect their feeling by saying things like “you feel sad” or “you’re excited”.
  • Sometimes children think things are their fault which can lead to painful, guilt.  Listening actively can alert parents to this and help them to respond in a way that is helpful for the child.
  • Regular listening is different than active listening.  In active listening, people listen and remove themselves, to some degree, so that they can listen without judgement.
  • When interacting with our children, it’s important to put our “nose and toes” toward the child to express full interest.
  • Eye contact is an important piece of active listening.
  • Body language is an important part of active listening.
  • Responding in a way of deep interest can really help us truly connect with our children in a meaningful way.
  • Clarification is a huge part of active listening through reflecting back what our children are saying through comments such as “I hear you saying…”.  It helps them realize how they are expressing themselves.  This can support their social understanding as well.
  • Children sometimes blurt out things that they may not mean such as “I HATE YOUR”, “YOU ARE THE WORST PARENT IN THE WORLD”, and similar, emotionally charged statements.  So active listening can help teach them how they are expressing themselves to others.
  • Body language is so important.  When engaged in active listening, your arms are to be uncrossed, your body slightly leaned forward, and your facial expression communicating interest.
  • Active listening also helps us cue in on things that our children are going through in life.
  • It helps that to get people on the same page and to truly understand each other.
  • Active listening helps children want to come to us with the big issues such as drugs, sex, and other important issues that sometimes cause a block in the communication process.
  • Children may not be able express their situation through words, so paying attention to their body language is important.  Body language can communicate a great deal of information.
  • Open questions allow for so much more information exchange than closed questions do.
  • “Why” questions can leave children feeling scared and unsure sometimes, so sometimes it’s better to make brief statements such as  “I wonder what caused that…” or another statement that doesn’t pressure them into having the answers to big situations.
  • It’s important to stop and look at the child as soon as they come into your view after being separated for a while.
  • Asking children too many questions, especially in a harsh way can cause emotional distance.
  • With children, a change in behavior can be a clue that something is wrong.
  • Pay attention; open your ears and your heart.


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Child Parent Relationship Therapy was mentioned in this episode.  More information is available on this type of therapy at the following site and book:


CPRT Package