Kid Talk: Intergenerational Communication
Sydney: I think that people don’t always understand what it means to communicate. Or more so, what it means to communicate effectively. (music stops)
Brianna: When we visited with Dr. Jessica Lutjohns, a behavioral therapist in Sioux City I got a clearer idea of what communication is and how to generate conversations in a more positive way.
Jessica: Communication would be both being able to get your thoughts out verbally as well as having those thoughts be understood by someone else and hopefully respected by someone else... and I would say that communication implies that it goes back and forth and it’s not just one person’s thoughts and feelings being heard but it is a two way street.
Sydney: When I was thirteen I found myself in a really bad situation involving an older boy. I was not at all equipped to deal with it. I started showing all the textbook warning signs... acting out and all of that trying to get my mom to understand that something was wrong. Call the police or something, just ask me if something was going on...I asked Jessica about what respect means to her and told her how in my experience I felt patronized and felt a real lack of respect from the adults around me . I wondered about the meaning of respect how it sometimes seems to be something that is earned and sometimes seems to be something given to all people just by virtue of being human. I came to the conclusion that they are two completely different things...but sometimes we deny the human kind when we should be denying the earned kind
Jessica: There are so many ways to define respect. It has to involve valuing their worth as an independent person. That just because they are... they have value and worth. If you follow that line of thinking then that implies that their thoughts have value and their feelings have value and their opinions have value.
Brianna: Too often we take communication for granted. We expect others to understand what we mean and there are times that miscommunication happens. There are levels of listening and understanding that determine how good of connection you will make with the other person. Isabel M. has shared a little about her relationship with her parents and how they sometimes have problems with listening and then showing respect for each other.
Isabel: Umm..they could ask me more and like what I have problems in on in life. Mostly they ask me right when I get out of school, “How was your day..” They’ve been asking me that since I was a little kid. So I’ve don’t take that much into thought...I kind of just say,
“ good” all the time or if like something really bothered me... I don’t think they would really notice. But otherwise they don’t ask me on their own.
Brianna: I think we all have trouble listening... thinking about what someone says and I think that’s a very difficult thing to do.
Sydney: Pastor Ryan Dowell Baum at First Congregation views communication as a life long process. That you grow in your ability to listen and you grow in all areas of your life. Your needs and expectations might change and maybe you don’t expect people to be so perfect all of the time.
Pastor Baum: I think on the really basic level remembering, oh, my kid... my spouse... my sibling... whoever they are...are really doing the best they can with what resources they have. You know I think doing one’s best to realize the gifts that each family member brings to the family simply by being who they are. Everybody brings gifts and opportunities that no one else can bring and so staying aware of those is really positive.
Brianna: At some point in our lives we all try to be perfect and maybe perfect isn’t what we should expect of ourselves. Knowing that, we can quit expecting perfection of others.(soft music)
Sydney: I think the more you learn about this issue and take responsibility for your own communication the better for everyone.
Support for this project comes from the Gilchrist Foundation.