As a mother of three young adults with special challenges, my biggest wish is to find resources to help my children become self sufficient, solution-oriented and successful in their dealings with others. So imagine my delight when I recently met Sam Horn at an Inspiring Speaker Workshop in California and learned of her book, Tongue Fu!®at School. Tongue Fu!® offers a successful method for dealing with difficult people without becoming difficult yourself.
According to Sam, Tongue Fu!® is not about hitting back, getting even, putting people in their place, or giving them a piece of our mind. Rather, she says, "It's about giving ourselves peace of mind by being able to handle challenging situations at that moment, instead of thinking of the perfect response on the way home." It promised and delivered 30 ways to get along better with Teachers, Principals, Students and Parents. In each chapter, Sam shared many insights, real life examples and "tongue fu tips for teens."
Parents can use the tips in Tongue Fu!® at School to improve their relationship with their teenagers and at the same time model behavior that will help their teenagers to effectively connect with others, resolve interpersonal conflicts and gain cooperation.To facilitate dialogue and relationships, Sam suggests "words to use" and "words to lose." One word she hopes we will lose is "but." In its place she suggests using the word "and." The word "but" antagonizes and leads to arguments because the other person feels unheard or minimized. Whenever, we hear the word "but," we immediately know that bad news will follow and we brace ourselves. When we hear the word "and" in a conversation, we feel a connection, expect the dialogue to continue, and believe we are acknowledged.
I remember saying to my daughter, "Sandra, you have a great report card, but that "C" in Physics is disappointing." Sandra did not have much to say after my comment, and looking back I am sure that Sandra's joy at getting 5 "A's" and "B's" was overshadowed by the criticism she felt in getting my but statement. Imagine her reaction if I had said instead, "Sandra you did great on your report card and I am sure you'll figure out how to bring that lonely "C" up next quarter. As a result of reading this book, I decided to eliminate the "but" in my communications.
As parents, we have an awesome responsibility to help our young people successfully transition from school, to work, and to the larger community. The good news is, we do not need to do it on our own. We can get help from our family, our friends, and from communication experts like Sam Horn. With Tongue Fu!® at School, we are given communication tools that will help us and our family to connect and spring back with hope, vigor, and coping skills.Who renews your hope?
Please consider reading Tongue Fu!® at School and let me know what you gain. I look forward to hearing from you and hearing of your success!