In relationships, we are most effective in communicating when we are aware of our feelings and our position of where we are coming from.
When it comes to relationships, I appreciate many elements come into play and it can get pretty lengthy for me to include examples of all the different relationship scenarios. To stay focused, I will only be referencing one group….the group of parents and adult children.
I was inspired to use this example of an amazing lady who shared this story in a meeting the other day. This lady has an adult daughter who wanted to talk about a challenge she had. Before going further in the conversation, this lady, as the mom asked her daughter, ‘do you want me to come from a place of being a coach, guiding you; do you want me to come from a place of being your mom, sharing what I think, or do you want me to come from a place of being a friend, cheering you on no matter what you decide?’ When I heard this story, I personally thought that was a brilliant way of opening her conversation with her daughter!
For parents with adult children, when parents are aware of their position of where they are coming from in conversations, there can be much learning and growing for everyone involved. In conversations where the adult child has a challenge, the sharing is about the adult child and what they decide based on what is right for them.
Using this example above, two things can happen:
- By the parent asking the adult child those questions, the adult child is now in a place of ‘feeling’ what they need in that moment! They are in the position of asking for what they really want from their parents. What a great way to encourage that child to go inside themselves and feel what is right for them. Do they need a friend? Do they want some guidance to handle something they find hard to deal with? Do they just want to hear everything will be okay? The responsibility is on the adult child to communicate what they need or want.
- The parent knows what the adult child is really looking for! How freeing can that be for parents! When parents ask their children what they need in that moment, communication becomes about supporting and respecting the child as an adult and an individual.
Is there a magic age when parents just listen to challenges their children have without telling them what to do? Is there is a magic age when children start to think for themselves? If you have adult children…what have you experienced? Awareness opens the door for more effective communication.
Is it easy for parents to watch their children go through challenging situations? Maybe, maybe not! If I may share, whether children are very young or adults, every person, thing or situation that shows up in their life is there for that child as a potential opportunity for them to learn and grow. In those moments of learning and growing…parents can be there as guides or mentors.
Sheila Unique, Relationship Coach