Gregory Uba works with a non-profit agency in LA, Connections for Children, serving parents across a wide range of needs from parenting classes to referrals and financial assistance for child care services.
While my particular brand of parenting support trends toward the mindful, spiritual and even esoteric, the approach I favor still boils down to thinking deeply in the service of working practically and pragmatically. Folks like Greg keep me honest and grounded in challenging me to think about how the most at-risk parents could make use of ideas such as floated in this blog—as these parent often may be tasked with the care of some of the most at-risk of our collective children. On the other hand, all kids struggle, and all parents struggle too, so whatever really helps any of us is likely to be of some value to all of us parents.
Therefore, in the spirit of grounded pragmatism, today we consider a tool to help parents cultivate a harmonious balance around discipline and communication: the TALK – TELL card.
The Talk-Tell card, as Greg explained it, is a place for parents to keep track of their own behavior—and a very popular item in Connections for Children’s parenting classes. Every time a parent has an engaged conversation with his or her child they tally on the talk side… every time they give an instruction (one way communication) they tally on the tell side. The idea is that the card needs to have a fair balance at the least, and even, ideally, more tallies on the talk side. This is a nice tangible way to me more mindful of engaging our children—the very aspects that help all manner of kids optimize their potential.
Given that I would prefer to teach by example I worry that a blog, by its very nature, may be rather tally-heavy on the tell side of things. So, while I deeply appreciate your showing up to read, and I don’t really want to ask for comments for the sake of comments (especially if it’s not your thing to speak up in this sort of forum), please know that if you have anything at all to say, including negative things, as well as comments meant for other parents, I encourage you to treat this as a collective space and thus help us tally on the “talk” side of things.
Perhaps take a reflective moment to really consider what you need as a parent, but may not be getting. Even if you need more money, support, time or other things that a blog cannot directly provide, perhaps the possibility of being heard and understood by others might bridge some sort of gap? In this way we can collectively support you, the parent, to talk more than tell with your child or children; and at the same time we can band together as parents to talk more than tell with each other.
So, let’s dedicate today to talking more than telling, to listening to our kids, each other and even to the subtle communiqués of the pulsing world—in honor of all our collective children. To that end, I’ll be quiet now.
Tally ho & Namaste, Bruce
To visit Connections for Children, or pass it along to those who might benefit, see: http://tiny.cc/2XN46