How to get your young son to open up

Family Counselor Michael Gurian, MFA, shares advice for parents on the best way to get their son to open up and communicate with them
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How to get your young son to open up

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Let's think about kindergartens for a minute and you want to talk to them about something that's important, and you may find them not very attentive. Let's take a 5 year old boy here just for this example. Some things that you can do: number one, do what I call the multisensory sensory approach, or 3 sensory approach. Get the boy, he's right in front of you, hold his shoulders, so that;s touch, so that stimulates the brain towards touch. Look him in the eye for as long as you can, which is eye, and then talk. So you are getting the visual, the auditory, and then you are getting the touch. That's a multisensory approach. For boys who aren't listening well, or don't talk really well at that age, the multisensory approach can help a lot because it gets in. What you want to say gets in because you are using 3 senses. So that's something that you can try right away and do as much as you can. Another thing you can do is make sure to talk to him while you are both moving around, while you are moving around and while he is moving around. And don't worry too much if you think well we are moving around so he must not be listening to me, because actually he may be hearing quite a bit of what you say.

Family Counselor Michael Gurian, MFA, shares advice for parents on the best way to get their son to open up and communicate with them

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Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC

Family Counselor & Author

Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books published in 21 languages. He provides counseling services at the Marycliff Center, in Spokane, Washington. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.

 He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Girls, The Wonder of Boys, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and The Minds of Boys.



Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities per year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

 As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University.  His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.

Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.

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