The Curious Cat
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Most of the time, when we communicate, we often only talk about behaviour and stories, not our deeper feelings and deepest yearnings as they will expose our vulnerable self. And same goes with our kids. We often engage only the tip of the iceberg (like, observing their behaviour and hearing their stories) to conclude and judge about their conduct. Virginia Satir, a world-renowned communication expert and family therapist who worked with families around the world, uses the iceberg as a metaphor to represent a person’s inner world. By changing our judgement (on the tip of the iceberg) to curiosity (about what’s beneath the iceberg), we venture into exploring deep into our kids’ icebergs. We replace blames, rationales and answers with a whole new perspective of love, acceptance, and compassion.
I have put together 6 basic habits for us to start to be the Curious Cat:
1. Address by name – (or nicknames, no not mocking nicknames) this is to show that we respect the kid we speak to.
2. Be connected – we create a healthy rapport with the kids by eye contact, sitting position, breathing pace.
3. Begin with curiosity with the event – (be it school activities, or problems) by asking Who, What, How, When, Where
4. Avoid “Why” – Noticed when I mentioned number 3, there’s no WHY. When we ask “Why”, it invokes the need for reasoning and justifying, this will put their defence in up and not wanting to share more.
5. Pause – gives some time to the kid to maybe, have some inner talk, find the correct word, or even allow a settling down of feelings.
6. Summarize, accept and appreciate. We thank the kid for sharing and assure them that they should not be worried about telling you anything (even if they have done something wrong).
Now, this curiosity will not kill the cat. In fact, it will teach the cat how to swim.