“I am just teasing” is not the correct response. Let me explain…
Today I was teaching a workshop on Relationship Repair and someone asked me if it is important to open our Relationship Repair Counter for our children?
The answer was a definite yes – in fact, we should have our Relationship Repair Counters open to acknowledge and repair complaints for our children even more than we should for anyone else!
Why? Because parents are responsible for meeting their children’s most basic attachment needs for unconditional love and security. This includes if our child brings up a complaint about our parenting! Whereas, our children do not have a responsibility to meet our attachment needs as the parent, we are the #1 person responsible for making sure our children feel emotionally safe and respected…
I am not talking about our child throwing a tantrum because we are saying no to something unreasonable. But, pretty much if there are any other relationship complaints our children bring to the table – we should open our Relationship Repair Counter and provide resolution and support.
For example, yesterday I was asking my seventeen-year-old son about a girl he is talking to while we are at the dinner table for Mother’s Day. The family was there, and I did not realize I was offending his sense of privacy about a budding summer romance. He got a little embarrassed and complained that I was bringing this up at dinner when he didn’t want to talk about. I immediately apologized. I respected his boundary and acknowledged that I could understand if he didn’t want to talk about it, that was certainly understandable if he wanted his privacy. We changed the topic to something else. Later, when we have a private moment, I will ask my son if he felt that his complaint was resolved and ask if there is anything else I can do.
In many families, the parent would respond with “I am just teasing, what’s the big deal?” or other similar type responses. But that does not provide relationship repair or build trust!
In my workshop for the public coming up this weekend, we will learn and practice Relationship Repair steps as well as I will teach the research on why using Relationship Repair is so open for having successful relationships with everyone – your significant other, your kids, your coworkers, and in any other important relationship!
Register here: https://relationshiprepair2019.eventbrite.com