Lately, conversations with my son have been peppered with words like, “conflict resolution skills,” “manipulation,” and “codependency.” As you can imagine, these are not fun conversations, but they are very much necessary. When he was young, I made a decision to always be in the talk about everything under the sun, but keep his maturity level in mind when you do talk about everything camp. I probably have not talked about everything I should talk about with him, but lately we have talked a lot about relationships and how hard they can be.
We talk about how conflict resolution skills are very important in relationships and how sometimes it’s necessary to stick with someone because that relationship matters and because there is such a love there, even though it hurts. We talk a lot about how to recognize when someone is trying to manipulate another into doing or saying or feeling something. We talk a lot about codependency and the many forms that can take. We talk a lot about different examples of all of this. We talk about how these behaviors could make us feel and how to draw healthy boundaries for ourselves. And we talk a lot about how to recognize these behaviors in our own selves so that we have healthy boundaries and relationships with others.
We talk about how it’s necessary to go through hard things, rather than around them. We talk about how we learn much about ourselves and how we are refined when we go through difficult things in life. We talk about the consequences of not going through hard things, of not learning how to resolve conflict, of not being open to changing if we are in the wrong. We talk about learning to apologize for the right things and not apologizing for things that are not our fault. We talk about not carrying the burden of another’s problems, we talk about not enabling others, and we talk about detachment. We also talk about caring for others, about expressing genuine concern, and about how to love well.
We talk about so, so many things…and I mainly talk about these things so that there is a greater chance that he will learn earlier than I did how to stand up for himself and for others, that he will learn how to go through hard times and have boundaries for himself, that he won’t be a doormat for others to use and abuse. I don’t want him to be the way I am.
And so we talk and talk and talk and it leads me to wonder if I can every talk with him too much 🙂