You have made me aware of how to listen to my 12 year-old son carefully and not diminish his feelings. In some ways I feel like I am really listening to him for the first time. I regret all the time I spent not listening to him.
There are years of miscommunication to correct. I am much more conscious of how I talk to him and even what I say. I am trying hard not to “badger” him or flood him with requests. We struggle with organization and his strong will to do as he wants as far as bedtime and how much screen time he wishes for.
One result of listening to him is that we allowed him to quit an activity he was in after four years. He is showing more interest in physical challenges and so we enrolled him instead in judo/jujitsu. In contrast to the lack of attention and praise he was given in his previous activity, his current teachers have noticed his physical talent and have focused extra attention on helping him accomplish the moves he is trying to perfect. It is so nice to see a teacher finally notice my son and give him accolades for his efforts.
You have made me aware that listening to him will help guide us all to his true passions and nurture his true self. We know that this is the path to true joy for anyone and we really want that for him in his life.
I enjoyed working with you, Cynthia. You knew how to ask the right questions to get to the true essence of the parenting issues I faced. I intend to review the information you shared with me and “hear” your voice in my head when you say, “Think about whether what you say will connect to, or alienate you from your child”. (I always tell parents to say to themselves, “Will what you are about to say or do build or break the relationship?)
Thank you so much for your wisdom and encouragement, Cynthia.
To learn more about listening read:
Dad Determines to Rebuild Relationship With Teen Son
Awareness of Communication Blocks is the First Step
2015 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com or 650. 679.8138 to have a complementary discovery session about finding solutions to your challenges. http://wp.me/p2TgAe-No