I was out with my wife and son (and dog) last night visiting a friend. We left at around 8pm and my son was hungry and my wife was tired so my son and I walked to our favorite local Mexican on 104th and Lex, El Paso Taqueria. We sat down and of course, he asked for my phone. I said no and that I wanted to know how his first couple of weeks of school have been. He gave the standard one-word responses and told me he’d rather talk about Legends, the new App he downloaded on my iPhone.
So I conceded and bargained that we can talk about Legends if we can talk about school afterwards. He agreed and I persisted with questions and interest and eventually it blossomed into an extensive conversation about school, friends, girls, etc. He was asking me about experiences that I had when I was a kid and at one point he cracked me up when he said, “this is a nice little chat”.
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I was so struck by the turn of events and I spoke with my wife about it when we got home. As much as I pride myself on being a super connected psychologist dad, I became acutely aware that I don’t persist enough when it comes to finding out about his life. I often stop at the one-word responses and just assume that he doesn’t want to talk. That will inevitably be true some of the time, but clearly it helps to show interest and stay engaged. It’s really worth it. I had such a great time.
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David B. Younger, Ph.D, CGP, P.C.
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