How to let go? Support? Teens and young adults? Work on myself. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-24-2012, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have this theory - that the place where we have our parenting "holes" (as I call them) are the same "holes" that happened as we were parented.  Mine was adolescence.  My mother just basically ignored me because (I think) that she really couldn't come to grips with my new independence and "self" that was very much apart from her.  

 

Now I'm falling into a hole :)

 

My son is 17 and wonderful.  But I keep bumping into my own walls.  I really, really try to live a consensual life with my children and then falter when they do something I don't agree with.  Or that "bugs" me.  Not anything life threatening or dangerous.  

 

How to get out of this trap?  I hate it, it causes so many arguments and resentments on my part.  And he isn't  doing anything wrong!

 

I need ideas and inspiration.  Some been there, done that kinda thing.  Please tell me I'm not alone and the only one who bumps into these walls!  I really want out of this cycle.

 

Thank you in advance!

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#2 of 4 Old 07-24-2012, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think what I'm asking for is - How do you get out of your own way?

 

Does that help?

 

Anyone? greensad.gif

 

*crickets*

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#3 of 4 Old 07-24-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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Hi Kim. I'm not sure what to suggest, other than honesty. At 17 your ds is pretty much an adult, and I think that at this point you can share a bit of your own confusion and struggle without burdening him inappropriately. You can explain your ideal of consensual living, and explain how your reflexes and learned patterns of parenting are in conflict with your ideals. Apologize for times when there's been a disconnect between your ideals and your behaviour and he's taken the brunt of the negativity. And then maybe talk about ways he could respond to the inevitable conflicts in the future when he thinks you're reacting reflexively, ways he could respond that would help you move past an authoritarian style of reaction.

 

I don't know what would help you, but I'm imagining that for me it would help to be approached in a friendly way a day or so later, when I'm in a decent mood, to seek out mutually agreeable alternatives. If a kid said "Mom, I'm wondering if tonight after dinner, or tomorrow sometime, we could talk again about the music fest. I know you have some serious concerns, which is why you're saying I can't go, but I'm wondering if we can come up with ways to address them. I have some ideas, and I'd like to talk about it again." That's the sort of approach that would help me look past my reflexive "Over my dead body!" response. 

 

I don't know. I guess it would help to have some specific examples of scenarios you've struggled with. 

 

Myself, I'm not a perfect parent by any stretch. My reaction to things I perceived as deficiencies in my own upbringing is to go to the opposite extreme. (For example I don't tend to provide enough consistent structure for my kids, and I sometimes leave them with too many decisions to make with too little support and guidance.) Those are the things I have to apologize for and ask for my kids' help in working around. 

 

We all have our issues. I sometimes tell my kids, only half-jokingly, that it's my job as their parent to give them stuff they have to get over as adults. winky.gif

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#4 of 4 Old 07-25-2012, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for these warm comments.

 

After I wrote that post I ended up showing it to my son.  I mean seriously, I'm a therapist by training and I always guide parents and children to talk about anything.  Talking is always the first step.  So really, why do I get stuck and not openly communicate? (I'll leave that for another long thread or maybe some midnight musing).

 

We came up with some ideas of how he can gently clue me into my stuff getting in our way.  And I will work hard on noticing when I'm getting bugged about nothing.

 

Today it was him moving into his own room (he has by choice bunked with his brothers for years).  It was a mess, and there were some ideas I had how to make it look nicer (my ideas are better! listen to me! do it my way!) and my stuff reared its ugly head.  Having the room look neat was becoming more important than listening to and working with my son.  I stopped and admitted it and laughed with Lucas over it.  Much nicer.

 

I think that giving voice to my anxieties and thoughts in these situations might be a nice way for both of us to hear when I'm going off the deep end :)

 

Well, MM, if you give your kids baggage, they can come work it out with me for free :)

 

What helped you to get to a place where you weren't just reacting?  Any books? Techniques?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Hi Kim. I'm not sure what to suggest, other than honesty. At 17 your ds is pretty much an adult, and I think that at this point you can share a bit of your own confusion and struggle without burdening him inappropriately. You can explain your ideal of consensual living, and explain how your reflexes and learned patterns of parenting are in conflict with your ideals. Apologize for times when there's been a disconnect between your ideals and your behaviour and he's taken the brunt of the negativity. And then maybe talk about ways he could respond to the inevitable conflicts in the future when he thinks you're reacting reflexively, ways he could respond that would help you move past an authoritarian style of reaction.

 

I don't know what would help you, but I'm imagining that for me it would help to be approached in a friendly way a day or so later, when I'm in a decent mood, to seek out mutually agreeable alternatives. If a kid said "Mom, I'm wondering if tonight after dinner, or tomorrow sometime, we could talk again about the music fest. I know you have some serious concerns, which is why you're saying I can't go, but I'm wondering if we can come up with ways to address them. I have some ideas, and I'd like to talk about it again." That's the sort of approach that would help me look past my reflexive "Over my dead body!" response. 

 

I don't know. I guess it would help to have some specific examples of scenarios you've struggled with. 

 

Myself, I'm not a perfect parent by any stretch. My reaction to things I perceived as deficiencies in my own upbringing is to go to the opposite extreme. (For example I don't tend to provide enough consistent structure for my kids, and I sometimes leave them with too many decisions to make with too little support and guidance.) Those are the things I have to apologize for and ask for my kids' help in working around. 

 

We all have our issues. I sometimes tell my kids, only half-jokingly, that it's my job as their parent to give them stuff they have to get over as adults. winky.gif

 

Miranda

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