If you’ve been my Facebook friend for a while, you know I periodically share transcripts of the hilarious moments I have with my daughter.
Our relationship has evolved over the years. We’ve always had fun, but we weren’t always close. I made some intentional choices that improved our relationship, and I’d like to share one of those with you.
Years ago, when I would pick my daughter up from school, I’d immediately ask her about her day, and get that one-word answer. If I attempted to ask again, or try to ask more “open-ended questions” to get her to talk more, I’d get the nasty attitude. I was so frustrated. I made it successfully through all the adult parts of my day. I navigated traffic and arrived before the school closed. I felt like I won. Then, I’d have the audacity to attempt a conversation with my child…..
I took it personally. I was so irritated that she didn’t want to talk to me. So being the mature individual I am, I decided to just talk on the phone to my friends once I picked her up. If she didn’t want to talk to me, then I’d just talk to them.
I was so busy feeling offended that I never took the time to step into her shoes. Pick up time for her was the end of her day. She had been in school working hard, navigating new skills and expectations, and relationships with classmates and teachers. She, just like me, needed transition time. I didn’t get that. However, one evening, when I picked her up from school, I asked her about her day, and she said, “I’m not ready to talk, yet. I need a minute.”
With that simple response, I got it. I understood. I knew she just needed time, and I gave it to her. I didn’t get on my phone, I just drove and listened to music, and when she was ready, she told me about her day.
Prior to that day, I had no idea what was going on. I had no idea that she wasn’t getting an attitude with me. I had no idea that she was merely setting a boundary to allow herself to transition after a long day. For weeks, I routinely got on the phone the second we pulled out of the parking lot (hands-free, of course). I would stay on the phone the entire ride home. And when she felt centered and ready to talk, I would tell her to be quiet. I was mad that she had the nerve to interrupt my conversation after barely speaking to me when I picked her up.
I was behaving so immaturely. And like most parents, I felt completely justified. I had no idea what impact my annoyed, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” response was having on her. She hadn’t done anything wrong. In her perspective all did was sit quietly after a long day. I probably made her feel so unimportant. She probably questioned if I even liked her. She missed me all day, and finally got to spend time with me, and I was ignoring her. I had an attitude with her. And she probably didn’t understand why. She was just tired and taking a second to transition.
After we had that talk, I was able to see the events through my daughter’s eyes. I decided that day that I no longer take calls when my child is in the car. That’s our time. Moments like this are common in parent-child relationships. We think our child is the problem, but we are unaware of all that’s going on. Then, we take it personally, react to their behavior, and create a negative dynamic in our relationship. By simply staying off the phone that day, because I wasn’t “in my feelings,” I learned so much. We talked about her needing that transition time and from that day forward, I didn’t ask her about her day first thing when she got in the car. I’d put on my music and let her transition. And when she was ready, we’d talk. To this day, car time is our time.
We have the deepest conversations, and the silliest ones. We went from barely talking at all, to me giving her the bruh face because she keeps telling me things I don’t want to know. We talk all the time, every day. She puts her friends on hold to come and talk to me. And all of that evolved from a subtle change. It’s the little shifts that revolutionized our relationship.
In my course, Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship, I address 6 common mistakes parents make that negatively impact our relationships with our kids. I teach parents how to shift their relationships by making subtle changes. I identify the offenses, provide examples of how they present themselves, teach how they impact our children, and then I show you how to fix, and avoid them.
Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship is a course that teaches parents what to say, what not say and why. It helps to identify the subtle ways we hurt our kids with our words and behavior, and highlights how we can show up differently.
If you are ready to take responsibility for your part in your relationship. If you are ready to work on yourself to impact your connection with your child. If you are ready to invest in your relationship now so you can still have one later, enroll, today.
Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship is available now on Udemy.
Want to learn more about Healing Our Families: Healing the Parent-Child Relationship? Watch my informational video below. Then, if it feels right for you, enroll on Udemy.
This informational video will answer most of your questions about the course. Watch it in it’s entirety. I tried to make it engaging.
Now, more than ever we realize that time is short. We need to make the most of every second we have with our kids. Do you want more of the same or are you ready for change?