My husband and I have an eighteen year-old son who feels like I’m constantly worrying about him.
As a result, I get over controlling and my son doesn’t want to be a mamma’s boy. I decided I needed help from Cynthia to stop the worrying and to improve my communication skills.
A key skill I am working on is to not use the communication blocks of giving advice, commanding, and me-tooism which is when I talk about me too much. Here’s a story of how I’m improving.
The three of us rented kayaks at the Russian River. My husband and son started out in the same kayak. My husband hasn’t gotten the training with Cynthia that I have so he started telling my son that he wasn’t paddling right.
I could see that the situation was getting bad fast and that my son’s feelings were being hurt. So I had my son share my kayak. I didn’t direct him so he felt in control of the kayak. He was giving me directions instead of the other way around. He loved it.
While reporting this success to Cynthia, we discussed further how I could have gone on to the second step of problem solving which is to listen openly to his feelings.
I could have acknowledged my son’s feelings once he was in my kayak by saying, “I know it’s hard listening to dad.” This would have made him feel more understood and possibly led to more dialogue and problem solving about his challenges with his dad.
A few other times I was talking to my son about choices, the car, or looking for a job. I would start telling him what to do then I would realize that I was using a communication block. I stopped myself and started saying “you have a really good head and I’m sure you will come up with a good solution.”
Cynthia is encouraging me to take on the supporter role of problem solving together rather than telling him he can solve it on his own.
This is a whole other way of thinking that is taking me a while to learn. I’m doing well at the first step of being aware of my communication blocks that cause me to be too directive. I’m either not doing them or quickly shifting and stopping once I realize I am blocking as I see the negative results.
The next step is to keep perfecting just listening to his feelings because he needs to feel heard and understood before he we can come up with solutions together or by himself. That means working on not being so judgmental, fearful and worried about his choices.
I have to let him make mistakes because I can’t control him and I shouldn’t.
Thank you for your amazing advice and support, Cynthia
Here are additional articles on communication blocks and listening to perfect your parenting skills.
Read: How Parents Can Fix Broken Communication with Their Kids
Read: Parents: Support Your Children’s Decision Making Process
©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