How to Communicate Openly and Honestly with your Kids

This podcast focuses on “naked communication,” that is, clear, clean, compassionate and courageous communication that asks people in conversation to be open, take the perspective of others, truly listen and go into conversations seeking to understand rather than “be right.” Sage B. Hobbs helps us to avoid conversation pitfalls, learn how to ask for what we really want and how to use discussions as a way to connect rather than compete.

Special Guest: Sage B. Hobbs

Sage Hobbs is a women’s empowerment coach, speaker, and author of the book, Naked Communication.  She’s known for her bold, insightful, and dynamic approach to communication, relationships, and personal growth. Sage works in both individual and group settings to create experiences of courage, self-expression, and freedom.  Sage supports her clients to unleash their voice, take action, and transform their status quo when they feel stuck, dissatisfied, or stagnant. Prior to creating her current work, Sage received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and spent a decade working with teens and families to navigate the wild path of growing up.  She’s also a mom of two, a cancer survivor, a proud teacher’s wife, a “retired” school counselor, a world traveler, a living room dance party aficionado, and a book lover.  

As you know, this podcast is all about connecting through conversation– The importance of communication between ourselves and the children in our lives. Conversations are about listening, learning, asking for what you want and need, understanding others, showing up authentically and yes, certainly connecting. There is an inherent trust in communication- a trust reliant on the assumption that we are communicating openly and honestly with one another. Of course, it can be difficult when we are speaking to our kids because many factors might get in our way- embarrassment, worry, and confusion about what to say. What id we say the wrong thing? How much should we say? What if they think differently? HOW do we communicate openly and honestly with our kids? How do we teach kids about effective communication- we weren’t taught this! For that topic we are turning to Sage Hobbs.

The podcast provides:

  1. How we can use “naked, stripped down communication” to communicate and support their kids?
  2. The common pitfalls parents that make when having hard conversations with their kids– and how to avoid them.
  3. How to help diffuse the anger of your kid or teen without damaging the relationship.
  4. How to help your kids be good conversationalists and build relationships with more confidence.
  5. How to have some challenging conversations with your own kids.
  6. How we talk to our kids about the power of ASKING for want they want- and the steps to asking for what you want.
  7. Scripts on how to talk to children when they fail, make a mistake—that shows you understand and love them no matter what!

Important Messages:

  • It’s important that we put connection at the forefront of our communication with our kids- how can we make sure that we make ourselves clear while truly listening and creating the conversations we truly want?
  • We must say what we really mean in our conversations. Get clear- what do you really want to say to your child?
  • Don’t yell at your child about 5 different things at once. What’s frustrating you in this moment?
  • We have to teach our kids how to communicate do that they can get their point across without sounding rude or entitled. We want our kids to identify triggers and also speak compassionately without triggering someone.
  • Our kids want to feel connected- they want to feel seen, heard and understood just like we do.
  • Get their point of you view first- and affirm love.
  • We need to really learn to listen and divorce ourselves from the need to be right all the time.
  • Don’t go into a conversation with the intention of proving that we are right and the other person is wrong.
  • We need to get better at asking for what we really want. Get clear of what we want- use appreciation and acknowledgement.

Notable Quotables:

  • “How can we communicate in clean, clear, compassionate and courageous ways that feel very true and authentic to who we really are? How can we put connection at the forefront of our conversations instead of proving ourselves as right and proving someone else wrong?”
  • “We hint and we hope and we wish and we imply. We do this in many of our relationships. Instead, we must get clear about what we really want to say.”*
  • “Know your own triggers. In every communication, you have to start with yourself. You need to be responsible for how you show up in the world.”*
  • “If we identify our own triggers, we give permission to our children to identify their triggers.”
  • “Our kids are humans. And they want to be seen and heard and understood just like we do.”*
  • “If you’ve been feeling disconnected from your kid, you need to get where they’re coming from, affirm your love for them no matter what, and leave the door open. Tell them; ‘I am here. I know you think I might not understand, but I am willing to listen to you anytime.’”*
  • “We are super attached to being right. It’s like an addiction and it feels so good. We believe we are right and they are wrong. But almost everything is an interpretation and then there are the facts. We think that our reality is real and that we are right. But would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”*
  • “We get so overly attached to being right that we will ruin our relationships to prove a point. With our kids, I want to challenge all of us to consider, from their point of view, they were right too! They were using the skills they had and they felt what they were doing was what needed to be done.”
  • “Most of the time, everybody’s right or no one is.”*
  • “It doesn’t help our relationship with our kids to go into a conversation with the intention of proving how right we are.”*
  • “We need to teach our kids to make a clear request but sandwich that request between an appreciation and an acknowledgement. Make sure that the appreciation is as specific as possible to the individual so they really get it’s about them and use the acknowledgement to acknowledge that your request does have an impact on them.”
  • “My number one tip for effective communication is what I call ‘getting it.’ And that is, putting yourself in your kids’ shoes using their point of view and letting them know you ‘get them.’ It makes them feel loved by you, it makes them feel seen, it opens a window to them sharing more with you because they will believe that you might actually understand.”*