Be a Sense-Able (Sensible) Parent!

Posted on August 3, 2015

We all want to have a great relationship with our kids and be able to communicate effectively with them. In The “Perfect” Parent, I share 5 tools to help you get there. One of those tools is Sense-able (Sensible) Parenting. This is a simple TOG (Tool of Growth) that can make a world of a difference when communicating with your children, especially if you’re having a hard time getting through to them:

The Sense-able Parent uses their five senses to communicate:

1. EARS AND LISTENING: Listen carefully to what your children say. Don’t just hear them, but actually listen and absorb their words. Allow them to complete their sentences. Let their words sink in for a moment before giving your opinion. One way to do this is to look deeply into their eyes when they are expressing their thoughts.

2. EYES AND WATCHING: Watch your children’s expressions carefully. It will help you to connect with them and understand their feelings. If you listen to them attentively, your eyes will automatically watch and not just see. With ears and eyes engaged, we have a clearer head and a more open-minded perspective.

3. NOSE AND SMELL:  Our sense of smell is our gift of perception. Be perceptive, tune in, and “smell the situation.” Tuning in to their feelings about a situation will make your children feel supported and loved. Also, taking a deep breath through your nose helps to slow down your heart rate and keep you calm encouraging better conversations and decisions.

4. TONGUE AND TASTE: By listening, watching, and tuning in to their feelings, you will be mindful of the words you use to speak with your children. Words can be hurtful if not used mindfully. “Seasoning” your words with love and kindness (especially when there is a disagreement) will leave a good taste (feeling) both for you and your kids.

5. TOUCH AND LOVE: Michelangelo said, “To touch is to give life.” One of the best ways to communicate and connect with your kids, particularly if they are upset, is by gently touching a shoulder, holding a hand, stroking hair, or rubbing backs. Renowned psychologist, Dacher Keltner of UCB backs Michelangelo up with some great science behind the power of touch and communication and says that, “Touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding and health.”

Being a “sense-able” parent is a powerful and sensible approach, a wonderful access point to activate your PGS (Parental Guidance System) and communicate effectively with your kids. Start by using any one of your senses to communicate and watch the results it will bring. Try it and you’ll love it! Then come back and leave a comment letting us know how it went; we would love to get your feedback!