I get very frustrated with my 10 year-old son. He is very smart, thinks about ideas and always wants answers to his questions. He also expresses his emotions often which are difficult to hear. Many times I am in a rush and I just don’t have time so I get angry with him. I think, “Why is he asking this now? This is inappropriate.”
I took a parenting class from Cynthia and I liked what she said so much that I decided to get private coaching. She used the Tortoise and the Hare fable to help me understand how my son is like the tortoise and I’m like the hare. She also suggested that perhaps he kept asking the same questions or expressing his frustration repeatedly because I kept ignoring him or telling him to stop feeling what he was feeling.
Cynthia pointed out that I was trying to make him feel better by placating him. In actuality, this tactic did the opposite. He was feeling bad about himself. He is a very sensitive and sweet boy whom his teachers love. But I was yelling at him to be different, to speed up. I want to change.
Cynthia suggested I take even a little time to listen to the feelings and thoughts under his statements. This was to replace placating him by telling him not to worry or not to work so hard, or it will be better next time. So I took her advice and instead I responded this way. “I see you really wished you had worn shorts.” “That’s a good idea.” “I know you wanted to try harder.”
I was so amazed at the change. He didn’t keep repeating himself because he finally felt heard. And, I’m not getting angry when I listen to him. I am learning that I try to take away his suffering many times a day and that I’m doing too much for him. I’ve only worked with Cynthia twice so far yet I’m already aware of when I am blocking communication and I’m catching myself beforehand sometimes as well. I see that by changing myself, I can create a better relationship and greater cooperation with my kids. Thank you Cynthia.
©2013 Cynthia Klein has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with dads, moms and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, webinars, and private parent coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the magazine Parenting on the Peninsula. Contact Cynthia at bridges 2 understanding, bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or call 650. 341.0779.