The OuchKit Helps Parents and Kids Talk About Feelings!
Parents complain that kids don't talk. Kids complain that parents don't listen. Betsy Sansby, a family therapist from Minnesota, has designed a communication tool that teaches everyone in the family to do both. The OuchKit—originally designed for couples—is an exchangeable set of cards with fill-in-the-blank questions and checklists of emotions that teach kids and grown-ups to recognize and express their feelings--without blowing up or shutting down. Kids like using The Ouchkit because it levels the playing field for all members of the family, regardless of age, experience, or status. Anyone who can read and write has equal opportunity to express a full range of feelings.
(PRWEB) -- When Betsy Sansby http://www.find-a-therapist.com/sansby.htm , a marriage counselor from Minneapolis, designed The OuchKit, she wasn't looking to develop a commercial product. She was trying to figure out how to get her couples to practice the skills they were learning in therapy once they got home. “Most people do great during therapy,” said Sansby, “but unless they practice between sessions, they're like kids who only play piano on the day of their lesson. Their playing doesn't get any better and they waste everyone's time.”
The OuchKit worked so well that couples started using it with their kids. Teenagers, who refused to talk to their parents, were now communicating with them in writing. Sansby believes this is partly due to the space constraints imposed by the card format. Each of the cards is the size of a standard postcard, and the fill-in-the-blank format only has room for a couple lines of writing. “Even if a parent wanted to launch into a lecture,” says Sansby, “there's just no room. The cards force you to get to the point.”
Another aspect of the OuchKit that makes it attractive to kids and parents is the fact that cards can be left from a distance. For example, a Sorry card can be left on a kitchen table or slipped under a bedroom door. This makes it possible to make contact, without worrying about starting an argument.
Alan Sadowsky, a physician from Minnetonka, received a Sorry card from his eight-year-old daughter that reads: “Daddy, I'm sorry I called you a jerk. I understand it made you feel disrespected. I could have just stayed in the house without being bad. In the future I will listen to what you say (mostly 99%) . . . I LOVE YOU!” Sansby admits that not all the cards she's seen are quite so friendly. “The cards are great for saying ‘Thanks' or ‘I'm sorry,' but they also help people talk about angry feelings without blowing up or shutting down.”
The OuchKit contains six kinds of cards: Ouch, Sorry, Thanks, You're Welcome, I've Been Wondering, and Now That You Mention It. Kits can be purchased on-line at The OuchKit website http://www.theouchkit.com where visitors can also try out the cards by sending free Ouch, Sorry, and Thanks E-cards to their friends.
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