I became a grandma today! And the flood of hopes and dreams for my kids came rushing through my mind. And it dawned on me that my son now has his hopes and dreams for his son–a clean slate with which to start.
But let’s face it, sometimes by the time our kids become tweens and teens we wonder if those hopes and dreams are even real any more. They frustrate us and do things that we cannot fully comprehend. We wonder if their decisions are tied to the way we parented or if they are just part of their immature brains. And what do we do?
We do what most normal moms do — we react, we nag, and we try to teach.
And sometimes they put up walls.
And even though we try to explain, to encourage, or help them see another perspective, they continue to fortify the walls or begin reacting to everything we say or do. Sometimes we find ourselves in a no-win situation.
The phrase in our house became “Can’t we all just get along?“
Several years ago I was in that no-win situation. One of my kids had put up the walls. Anger and bitterness seemed to rage at times. She could only see her perspective and as a mom I could do nothing right in her eyes. Sometimes I would choose to be silent rather than pursue what I knew would be a battle.
Honestly, when she was in our home I didn’t have the skills to turn our relationship around. My husband, Dave, and I even went to counseling trying to learn how to repair the relationship and hopefully start tearing the walls down. And we were taught some skills–skills to deflate defensiveness and resolve conflict. We worked hard on the relationship with our daughter even though by that time she had turned 18 and moved out. I continued to do research and practiced what I was learning with all my kids. I did everything in my power to seek her out and try to connect as she would allow.
And then I met a fellow trainer, Nina Roesner, who was working on strengthening her marriage. And we would talk for hours about the skills that most of us weren’t taught growing up. She was doing research too and the more we talked and struggled through our own family relationships, the more we learned about what worked and what didn’t. We started reading all the brain research and putting the pieces together in what has become an unbelievably eye-opening course. Last year Nina piloted the course for the first time. (She is an amazing curriculum writer!). And just like all our training materials, lives are changing in amazing ways. God shows up and something happens over, and over, and over.
Parent/Child relationships have been strengthened and reunited.
Marriages have been restored.
And walls have come tumbling down.
About a year ago, my daughter told Dave that I was her best friend. She said she could tell me anything and I would listen and “hear” her. She now felt understood.
It’s a skill I needed to develop. It gave me a clean slate in my parenting helping me forge the relationship.
Now it’s a skill that you can develop too. And it’s training that we only do once a year. You’ll get to practice the skills Nina and I have both learned in a safe environment. People have told us it is amazing!
But here’s why it is so important that you learn these skills.
Our kids are taking notes. They’re learning from us!
Will they learn to deflate defensiveness and resolve conflict well by watching you?
Just the other day I was having a somewhat heated debate with one of my adult sons. I wanted him to understand my perspective, but we weren’t getting anywhere. (And, yes, I’m human and forget to use the skills sometimes.) Anyway, it dawned on me that I needed to change the way I was approaching the conversation. As I did, suddenly, my son stopped the conversation and said, “Mom, you’re getting good at your deflating defensiveness skills!”
And now I know that as he learns from me, he’ll be able to carry those skills into his parenting with our new grandson!
That’s a win-win situation.
We hope you will join Nina and me this year to learn the skills to help deepen your relationships.
Proverbs 25:11 NET
Like apples of gold in settings of silver, so is a word skillfully spoken.
Dare you to pray about joining us! We hope you’ll take advantage of the discount that is good through December 31, 2017. You’ll be joining women from across the country who want to improve their relationships and develop the skills that can be passed down for generations to come.
Please know that since we are in a beautiful retreat setting (with your own private room), space is limited.
You can click here for more information.
“Let go…and Let God”,