One of the tools in the Parenting
is Heart Work book is
to use the five levels of communication to draw your child
deeper. The first level is greeting and involves saying
hi to kids when you see them. Good morning and Good night
are important. Go out of your way to be sure you’re greeting
your child every chance you get. Although greeting isn’t
a deep form of communication it provides the basis for
going deeper. It’s an important connecting point that says
‘I’m glad you’re here.”
A second level of communication has to do with facts and
information. Instead of asking your child an open-ended
question, you might be more specific by asking something
like, “Who sits next to you in math class?” or “How does
it work for you to get between classes in such a short
period of time?” “Have you ever forgotten your locker combination?”
Exchanging information is an important part of communicating
and parents often can get more answers by asking specific
questions. “How was your day?” may be too broad for your
child. “What did you do in gym today?” is more definable
The next three levels of communication enter the heart,
but you often have to do the first two well in order to
A third level of communication involves opinions and judgments.
“Do you think your coach made a good call by pulling the
pitcher when he did?” “What do you think about that book
you’re reading?” “Do you like Sharon’s new haircut?” Opinions
and judgments reveal values and beliefs that children have
and provide opportunities for you to learn more about what’s
important to your child.
A fourth level of communication involves feelings and
emotions. You can often glean helpful insights into this
significant area of a child’s heart by asking questions
or making observations such as “How did you feel during
the assembly?” or “You look happy today, tell me about
it” Certainly when your child is expressing some kind of
emotion, you’ll want to dialogue on that level. Some parents
feel uncomfortable with emotions and quickly move to problem
solving which is level 2 communication, fact and information.
Good communication connects on a heart level and requires
more comfort talking about emotions.
The deepest level of communication is a spiritual connectedness
and happens when you share spiritually together. Praying
together, sharing what God is doing in your life, and serving
God together are all examples of spiritual closeness. Something
happens between two people who communicate spiritually.
They develop a heart-based connectedness. One of the ways
you can develop this spiritual closeness in your family
is to use Family Time
Activities once a week. Having a
Family Time is important for any family and these resources
are an excellent way to help you get started.
The Training Manual and CD entitled, How
to Start Connecting with the Heart will give you other specific strategies
for connecting with your child on a heart level. This is
lesson #8 in the kit entitled, Heart
Work Training Manuals and Audio Sessions. All eight lessons will give you keys to working
with your child’s heart.