How to Communicate: The “High/Low” Approach

I have had the pleasure of knowing Sharon Gross for over 9 years now! I attended Penn State Beaver where Sharon was known by all on campus as, “The Bistro Mom.” She worked in the campus cafeteria, touching all with her ability to lend an ear and help others see the bright side of life. She is a true gem and I am honored and blessed to know her. Thanks to good old Facebook, my “Bistro Mom” and I have been able to keep in contact in more ways than one. The other day, Sharon sent me this very insightful and inspiring message and I got her permission to share it with you all. It sure does provide an interesting perspective. While Sharon’s focus in this message was directed toward parenthood, I think we can all use this approach! I know I will be giving this a try with my significant other. Check it out!

high and lows“Wanted to share a lil something…

As an older mom now, I’m finding younger, busy and overworked mothers dealing with children and having difficulty communicating with them due to lack of time, activities etc… I used to do a fun thing with my kids – either at bedtime laying next to one of my children or just driving in the car, I played “Highs and Lows” with them. I would simply ask them what was the best (high point) part of their day and, of course, what was the low (worst) part of their day. It was amazing when, off the top of their heads, they would blurt out a fun thing or special thing they had experienced that made them laugh – a good grade or a crush on a fellow school mate. Then, the bad – that someone was rude, maybe a loss at a ball game or finding out they were being bullied.

A simple question about a high and low has informed me about so many things throughout the years. Not many parents communicate well with children these days and sometimes the simplest form of a question, worded in a concerned, but happy and fun way, can be very informative and give you a lil’ insight on your child’s world. Your children could express issues that may enlighten you as their parent – let you know of something that may be harming or challenging to them. They could also teach you something that they enjoy – something that you never knew until asking.

It is always nice when others share a skill or technique with someone and it helps to better his/her life. It is also a great feeling when they thank you for it. Yes, there are times when someone could learn about a student on the school bus who was exposing himself to others or a few other LOWS that need attention. But, that just goes to show that when we ask a question, we need to be ready for the answers, too!

My “highs and lows” game turned into a helpful communication skill and I have shared it with many women who have thanked me. They said that by asking in a fun way, their children spoke to them so easily. Moms also shared that as they did this consistently like I did, that their children never held anything back. Isn’t it crazy, that sometimes you can ask a question and not get an answer. But, if you present or re-word a question, you will get an abundance of answers… Ha!

Challenge: Try the “highs and lows” approach with others in your life to keep an open and healthy line of communication.

– Sharon Gross, “Bistro Mom, Awesome Mama, Devoted Wife and a Beautiful Human Being

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