4/6/21: This week we had a nice surprise – we had a new family join us! We had two families participate in person and one family join via Zoom. This was something we had never done before, but it was great to see the dedication from the family who didn’t want to miss out even though they were traveling!
Our lessons focused on communication and stress. We brought in last week’s lesson theme by restating that behavior is communication. When our behaviors are impacted by stress, it adds another factor into communication, often making it hard to really grasp someone’s tone and intentions. Caregivers spent most of their part of the session learning about reflexive listening techniques. They also took a trip back in time and put themselves in middle school, discussing what their day looked like, who they hung out with, and what chores they were responsible for.
The youth put themselves in the caregiver’s position and listed what parts of the day they thought their caregivers found to be most stressful. They also made this list for themselves as teens. Most of their time was spent role-playing and getting the hang of their newly learned reflexive listening techniques. Youth participants alternated between being the youth and the caregiver.
In both independent sessions, we stressed the importance of the validation step of reflexive listening and how it should be addressed with empathy. This opens the door for a meaningful conversation that actively involves both parties in the communication process.
We’ll be taking a break next week due to one of our families and one of our facilitators being out of town, but we’re looking forward to meeting again!