I know, you just had a practice day a couple chapters ago, but in chapter 19 you learned the entire F-A-X Listening and problem-solving process. I want you to have time to process what you learned and put it into practice, because when you master F-A-X Listening you will:

  • Have children who feel safe enough to let down their defenses and share the real issues they are dealing with.
  • Have children who open up and give more than yes/no, one-word answers.
  • Have children who express their feelings clearly and appropriately, without tantrums, yelling or being overly dramatic to get sympathy.
  • Have children who calm down amazingly quickly.
  • Have children who are good listeners with their siblings, peers, parents and extended family — and in the future, with their spouses, co-workers, supervisors and employees.
  • Avoid common roadblocks that shut down communication and cause unnecessary conflicts.
  • Know how to read and interpret non-verbal communication, so if someone is upset but not speaking, they will know you care.
  • Know the one tool you can use to mediate conflicts between two children (siblings, peers), work out parent/child conflicts, make family decisions, solve family-wide problems, and even solve problems and enhance adult-to-adult relationships!
  • Have children who are good problem-solvers and decision-makers. In fact, they are so good, others come to them for advice.
  • Have children who know how to face and conquer their fears.
  • Have children who have positive sibling relationships and work out their problems by listening to each other, communicating their needs, and negotiating win/win solutions — independent from their parents! You will stop hearing:
    • Personal space disputes like, “He’s looking at me!” Or “He won’t leave me alone!”
    • Property wars like, “She took my toy!” “He won’t share!” and “She borrowed without asking!
    • Territorial issues like, “His stuff is on my side of the room!”
    • Tattling, but children will know when it’s okay to “tell” you about a serious situation.
    • Teasing or bullying. “Bullies” learn healthy ways to express themselves and resolve conflicts and “Victims” are empowered with assertiveness — both are freed from their roles!
    • Physical fighting (not just roughhousing). “He pulled my hair!” Or “She pushed me first!”
  • Have children who have fewer school problems. They:
    • Do their homework without you nagging or hovering.
    • Remember to take their homework and lunches to school.
    • Choose friends that are a good influence.
    • Get along with their teachers and peers.

You can also take this time to check out some of the resources that will help you master not only the strategy and techniques of F-A-X Listening, but the art and heart of it, too.

ACTION STEPS:

  1.  When your child expresses a feeling, opinion, belief, or perspective — no matter how small and no matter how alarming — STOP, LOOK and LISTEN with full attention. Bite your tongue if you are tempted to give advice. Summarize what the child said and, if appropriate, ask your child what he/she wants to do about it. In the forum, share what your child said, how you responded, and how the child reacted to your response. Did they calm down? That’s usually the result.
  2. The next time your child has a problem to solve, use the Problem-Solving Worksheet. It will walk you through the entire F-A-X Listening process. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat to open and read this document.
  3. Feel free to share how it’s going in the comment section as you practice F-A-X Listening skills.

Here is a list of the recommended resources in this lesson: