Teen with a Dream™ is a 501 (c) (3) charity founded specifically to enrich the lives of pediatric cancer patients and the lives of their families by combating the effects of social isolation and loneliness during chemotherapy through specialized social, educational, and financial programs.
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The beautiful chaos of the holiday season is upon us. These next couple months are filled with holiday festivities, gatherings, events, friends and most importantly family. During this time we are constantly reconnecting with our loved ones. Although this time is a special one, it can be a little overwhelming at times-especially if you have a child that is sick. Now, more than ever, communicating with your loved ones is important.
Communication is the basic building block of our relationships.
Communication is a two-way process.
Many things can get in the way of good communication.
Make sure your body language conveys to them that you are interested and listening. You can make eye contact with them, turn your body toward them, and nod as they are talking to let them know you are listening.
Reduce any distractions that will keep you from focusing on their message. Try to stop whatever you are doing that may distract you from their message—such as watching television or trying to read while the person is talking to you. You may need to tell them, “I will be better able to listen to you once I am done with ____. “ Trying to listen while doing other tasks usually does not allow one to clearly hear the message.
Listen for the content and the feelings behind the words. Do not just listen to the content of what is being said. Listen for the feeling that the person is trying to convey to you. Are they expressing joy, sadness, excitement, or anger—either through their words or body language?
When the person has finished talking, paraphrase back to them what you heard them saying. “What I am hearing from you is……”“It sounds like ….. was very upsetting for you.”
Do not offer advice to the person. When we offer advice—especially when it was not asked for—this often shuts down communication. The person first needs to know that you have understood them and that they have sent their message clearly to you.