The way kids talk today, relate to each other and adults, their interface with more technology than we ever knew, and their growing disconnect from the world around them and the people around them. Kids now make and break relationships with their thumbs and a screen. They are not socialized to encounter and experience another person's emotions directly; they are not prepared for the kinds of disagreements and conflicts that the world holds for them. Intimacy is not generated on Youtube videos, or in a trans-continental video game tournament.
IT IS CLEAR that it's healthy, natural, and beneficial to have realistic expectations of our children, and to generate healthy communication with them-
- that they participate in a family community
- that they have a role in caring for the family environment
- that until that garbage gets walked to the curb, there will be no xbox, cellphone, ipad, ipod, laptop, wifi, apple watch, smart techno-nothing depending on age and responsibility level!
- that there is a social world out there with some powerful forces, and that those forces are not meant to simply override or pre-empt good judgment.
- that the laws of causality are always in effect- that each decision or choice has consequences-whether we know or see them or not.
- that those consequences are not within a child's or teen's control
- I and ME are not the center of the known universe-and YET they do matter a great deal
- that being kind to a stranger, or helpful to a neighbor is something we learn and choose.
Our children are citizens of the world and need to learn limits, boundaries, respect for others and themselves. They need to know that their decisions, ideas, behaviors all have an influence on the world as we experience it.
When parents feel challenged by their children, their attitudes, the peer culture, it can be hard to find an ally who can hear what you're experiencing because it stirs up all kinds of emotional 'stuff'. When the social and interpersonal pressures of living in this part of the world bear down on our kids, it can be stressful, isolating, and challenging to find a place for needed and judgment free conversations about what's happening and what to do about it!
Rather than having to know how to manage depression and anxiety, and OCD, ADD, and all the social implications for our children, then having those conversations out in the world with everyone when it might feel too raw, or is just bad timing, it can be super helpful to have a place to talk about the whole mess.
Being able to process some of those issues in the safety of a judgement free context - out of the fray- can be really restorative and help parents develop strategies to bridge the gap and deepen their relationships. Using therapy to process that experience can foster and develop a nurturing, interactive, and collaborative approach to bridging the GAP between parents and their kids. Often the message that kids feel is that there's something wrong with them- when parents become part of the healing with intention, their children learn important messages about what Love and Care and Respect are about- that everyone participates and sacrifices together.
When searching for expertise or knowledge about "parenting", what is sometimes missing is the proper objective place to process the concerns, unique family dynamics, and unclear expectations on all sides that collide into the discomfort and conflict and disconnection between family members. The conversation about our own reactions and experiences as a parent can unlock some of the barriers to 'nurture' and care. Self help and parenting books all have good ideas and information. Figuring out how to implement that information is often missing.
When parents disagree about what's "really" important, a chasm can form between the parent team, and that fracture can be the source of emotional strain, relationship stress, and increased conflict. When parents can talk through divergent views and needs and come to consensus on what's "GOOD ENOUGH" for both, a united and energized parenting couple can re-emerge to bring increased harmony and co-parenting to the fore. This communication also leads to innovation about what works for one child and not another.
Consider whether such conversations might be a road to a healthier family in times of tension and conflict around parenting. We're here to help you walk you through it.