The Trends – June 2018
Parents aren’t always right. Right? We can be wrong. It is not always easy for parents to admit that, but when we accidentally hurt our child’s feelings or blatantly mess up, it is important for parents to say “I’m sorry.”
When the Eldest SON was fifteen years old we had a particularly big disagreement. It started out as not that bad, but it soon grew into something more. After an hour of trying, we still could not come to some common ground. Everything I said upset him and everything he said upset me too. So we agreed to not talk any more and go to bed. I went to my room to rest, but just tossed and turned.
It was then that I decided to TEXT him. Yes, we are less than three rooms and 60 feet away from one another yet miles apart when it came to hearing each other’s point of view. Unfortunately, good old regular communication was not working so I decided to speak his language.
So I texted him. I met him where he was and used the written word to try to come to some common ground. The text started with short sentences at first to open the lines of communication. The words “I am sorry” and “I love you” were certainly included in the text. He sent a response and a few more and he also said he was sorry. But he also voiced his frustration and so did I. Then I said again, I love you.
A few minutes later he appeared at my bedroom door. By now I was worn out and did not sit up. I kept my head on the pillow and he said, I love you and I said, I love you too. He went back to his room and moments later he reappeared. This time I got smart and sat up in my bed. Once again he said, I love you, and again so did I. But this time I said come in and sit for a minute and let me hug you. Needless to say, it was a great way to end the day and a disagreement.
For two-way communication to occur the lines have to open and so do our hearts. We must also have a desire to forge a strong healthy relationship with our children, tweens, teens and young adults. However possible we must be willing to do it. But that also means we must be willing to do what it takes to forge that relationship. Words like, “I hear you,” “I am sorry,” “I am on your side,” “I am your advocate,” “will you forgive me” and most important of all “I will always love you” are critical to building that kind of relationship that will endure over time. These are key words to building a strong healthy relationship with our kids no matter if they are two or 52.
So yes, I know texting might seem a bit crazy to some, especially to a generation who never heard of it until 10 years ago. But I will say I have never loved texting more as I did that night with the Eldest SON. If texting can bring about restoration and a precious relationship to me, then I am all for it. But the most important thing I learned is that sometimes we have to meet people where they are, rather than always expecting them to meet us where we are.