The Secret to Being Present in a Conversation


The fact that we’re ‘not talking’ doesn’t mean we’re listening. When someone’s speaking, we can be preoccupied with our to-do list, mull on better ways to spend our time, or compose our weekly shopping list. While we may be physically present, we’re mentally in another universe. Instead of having a conversation, we have a nonversation. When this happens, we’re in

Read more

Setting Clear Boundaries

There’s no doubt that children need boundaries. Knowing what’s acceptable – and what isn’t – allows them to learn how to co-exist in family, social and school environments. The difficulty of course is that most children are wired to test these boundaries to the limit. In many ways this is a thoroughly healthy process in the sense that the child

Read more

Getting my Teenager to Talk

I sat down next to a mother recently at my son’s school sports match. We got onto the subject of teenagers and she told me how her 13-year old son had – quite recently – developed a new language that relied exclusively on communicating through a complex system of grunts. This experience was entirely new and bewildering to her, since

Read more

Dealing with Tantrums

As parents, the question we face when dealing with tantrums is: Do I clamp down on them? Do I indulge them? Do I ignore them? Each of these strategies has its upsides and downsides. If I clamp down, I show my displeasure but my child will feel controlled and demeaned. If I indulge them, I may defuse the immediate issue,

Read more