Turning Shrugs Into Conversations

My Godson is in 3rd grade this year. Funny thing happened somewhere along the way this year, when I ask him how his day was or inquire on how he is feeling, the answers got much shorter and void of detail. The day would be “fine” or “great,” which didn’t seem that bad after *the shrug* was inserted as an acceptable response. Here I thought I had until Middle School at the very least before my brain locked in on picking apart stories of his day varying in fact and fantasy based truths. You know what I did to combat this? Kept asking questions, more pointed questions delving into the specifics. Who did you play with? What did you have for lunch? What caused you to smell the way you do in your present capacity? Where did this get me? Well, we’ve all been told the definition to insanity ad nauseam so I will spare you here. I wanted him to communicate with me, but was only giving him the opportunity to do it on my terms. How can you experiment with your kids to gauge their attention and imagination in a world of screens and shrugs? Drawing, writing, painting, reading and physical activity will draw the real and natural responses we’re after. How else do you communicate with someone to get past the fluff and invest in their stuff?

As someone who personally has to process internally and introspectively, I’ve tried to self-examine my own methods of working through thoughts and feelings. For the first time in my life, I wrote a poem. Would it be classified as a poem by writers who actually do this type of thing for a living? Absolutely not, but as far as I’m concerned I done wrote some of them fancy poetry words! Are they an accurate portrayal of my feelings? Not necessarily, but it opens up a conversation to why I would write some of these things. How can I communicate with someone effectively if I don’t know how I communicate effectively? Is poetry it for me? Have to say, I don’t think so. I did realize my fingers can type and formulate thoughts a whole lot faster than my mouth can, and thanks to the backspace key I get in a lot less trouble.

 What is your keyboard?