In Youth Connections Magazine… “Cultivating Trusting Relationships”

Between Adults and Children…

This article responds to the question: “How can you become an ‘ask-able’ adult?” Whether you are a teacher or a parent, how can you be sure children are coming to you with their important questions and confiding in you with their problems and worries? This article is one of a six-part-series focusing on parenting with social and emotional learning including one article on each of the five research-based social and emotional competencies. This series is sponsored by the Montana Center for Safety and Health Culture and their helpful site: which offers many more tools and resources for building relationship skills! Here’s how this feature article begins…

“It’s sad our girls aren’t talking. How are they going to work anything out that way?” said Tara, the mother of Janie’s teenage daughter’s best and oldest friend. “I didn’t know they were fighting,” replied Janie as she walked away wondering why she hadn’t heard first hand about her daughter’s friendship woes. When she returned home, Janie asked her daughter about it. “Oh, it’s nothing,” was her daughter’s response. She recalled just last evening noticing the light on under her door late into the evening and could see her daughter’s tired, worn expression. “I can see you’re upset. And Mrs. Anderson mentioned that you and Cara aren’t talking. Won’t you tell me what’s going on?”

As Janie wondered why her daughter chose to struggle in silence, she thought about their conversations about Cara over the past months. Janie didn’t approve of how Cara pressured her daughter to take risks she might not otherwise take and had made that well-known to her daughter. Had her comments about Cara created a barrier between her and her daughter? Was she now not safe to confide in? Her frustration mounted as she tried to figure out what she might do or say to get her daughter talking again.

How does an adult become “ask-able” – the kind of adult with whom children and teens are comfortable coming to and confiding in? Parents and educators need to be able to help with smaller, everyday issues like when children and teens face simple friendship problems and the big upsets that accompany them... READ the full article here! 


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