Open the Door to Real Communication

Interview: Annette Pang, Life Coach and Founder, Caring Manoa Licensed Adult Residential Care Homes

What does a life coach do? A life coach helps clients to reach their personal and business goals by guiding them through self-doubt. Coaching can provide methods for self-education and transformation. It’s thrilling to see their “aha” moments and confidence after taking committed and measured action. Some focus on family relationships.

When’s the best time to contact a life coach? The sooner the better. A coach can provides tips, skills and shortcuts so a client is prepared ahead of time, before challenges come up. For example, the best time to learn how to swim is before you dive in, not while you are drowning in choppy waves. By lessening worries, anxiety and sleepless nights, you’ll feel more calm and capable.

What advice do you have for children dealing with aging parents? Children must remember that their parents may feel crushed when their bodies change. Kindly forgive them for whatever they may say or do. Don’t react in defense. Watch them soften when you speak to them with love.

What advice would you give to aging parents who have children as caregivers? Allow your children to blossom into their new caregiver roles. Instead of being demanding, be gracious as they learn how to feed or bathe you. As you love them unconditionally, welcome their best efforts and thank them with your smiles. Your children only want to honor and help you with their own particular ways and personalities.

What is the best way to communicate with seniors who may be causing stress? Everyone has a sweet spot, but it can be soured by communication that uses hurtful words. ASK Presetting is a communication method that helps you talk openly, without walking on eggshells. It preserves the peace and calms the nerves. ASK Presetting is a precise communication method that involves pre-framing and rehearsing questions, comments, words and tones to avoid emotional discord. When presetting tough topics with your parents, for example, appeal to their sweet side; don’t focus on right or wrong. Aim to walk in his or her shoes to understand their thoughts and feelings rather than force-feeding your ideas. You will feel wonderful when you open your heart and be more collaborative.

As individuals age, they may review their regrets. What’s the best way to deal with those? Cemetery headstones are wet with tears from sons and daughters who did not have good relationships with their parents. So it is important to say what needs to be said while parents are still able to hear and understand your words. For seniors, highlighting the bright spots in their lives will liberate and shift their would-be remorse into self-compassion and empathy. Why not focus on the good times and  accomplishments, since the past cannot be changed?

What important advice would you give young adults about their future? Unsettled feelings that aren’t addressed can lead to splintered families: siblings stop speaking, parents and children become estranged, and marriages end in divorce. Communication is the key. To reverse this spiral, keep the porch light on by presetting words before conversations misfire. This simple and reliable communication strategy can mend rifts, and bring you tremendous joy and euphoria that can save your family.


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