Janet Tarasofsky

Janet is a single mom who juggles an executive career in the beauty industry with ensuring she has enough time to spend with her little girl. As a woman in business, as a single mom and as a human being, her mission is to help women rise to the challenge when confronted by challenging times.

file000766340476 1 224x300 Can your child communicate?

I started taking my daughter to a few toastmaster classes, a venue to practice public speaking. The venue is a one hour commute from our house and involves 3 trains and a bus. It is also in the evenings, which means that she has already had a full day at school, done her homework and is pretty tired by the time we get there at 7pm.   When we get home at 10pm the kid is exhausted.


So why do I do it?  She is only 8 after-all, she doesn’t need to present at any board meetings or lobby the government just yet.

Here is one reason….

Last week one of the Other Mom’s from the class approached me at the school gates.  She told me that my daughter has not been very nice to her daughter lately.   Apparently she has been calling her child bad names and ignoring her.   I was obviously upset by this news, no mother likes to think of their child as mean.  I suggested that we bring the kids together to discuss their feelings and perhaps understand why there has been a change in behaviour.

We arranged a meeting for the next day.  I intentionally did not tell my daughter about the arrangement until 20 minutes before we left the house, I didn’t want to give her too much time to think up excuses.

8:30am, we arrive at the picnic table for our discussion.  Here’s how it went down:

Me:  “Jane, I understand that you are upset with my daughter and that she has not been very nice to you lately.  Can you tell me some of the words that have upset you?”

Jane: “umm………….’’ Silence  ”well………………….’’ Silence.  “It’s just’’………….…’’ silence.

2 minutes pass.

Jane’s mother: “Come on Jane, tell her what she has done to hurt your feelings”.

Jane: “Ummmmm…………………….I dunno’’

Me:  “Daughter, can you think of anything that you have done to upset Jane?  Perhaps share what has inspired this rift in your friendship?”

My daughter:  “YES,  I can explain” she says calmly,  ”Jane, you have been moody with me since school began this year.  Sometimes you want to play with me, sometimes you don’t.  It really just depends on your mood of the moment.  To be very honest, it has hurt my feelings…alot, and so I have decided to ignore you when you are in one of your bad moods.  I also decided to stop trying to be your friend when you clearly don’t want to be mine. ”  My daughter breathes and continues.

“Last week, while I was playing with another friend, you grabbed me and wanted to play with me alone.  I didn’t think it was fair to the other person I was playing with and I was a bit upset about how you have treated me over the last few weeks, so I told you that I was not interested in joining you.  I may have said that rudely, and I am sorry for that, but I am still upset about the way u have treated me lately.”

Jane and Jane’s mom are both staring at us with their mouths wide open.

Me:  “Thank you darling.  Well said.  I am sure that Jane now understands. Right Jane?”

Jane: “Yes.  I am sorry.”

My daughter: “I am sorry too”

End of conversation

I cannot tell a lie, I was super proud of my baby.  She spoke eloquently and confidently.  But more importantly, I realised that my daughter has acquired a skill that she will need throughout her life.  The skill of honest and clear communication.  Jane will not be the last person with whom she will argue.  Every one clashes from time to time and we rely on the art of communication to help us to resolve our differences.  I believe that my daughter is well on her way to mastering this art.

Thank you for reading,



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