Well, I did today and I was surprised and it got me thinking.
My 15-year-old son Tsoof is now on holidays, so he and I go for a walk around the neighborhood together in the morning. He sometimes brings his guitar and we sing, much to the enjoyment of passersby, but other times, we talk. Today, he brought his guitar, but we talked anyway…
At first, I asked Tsoof, “When you and your friends talk about how annoying your parents are, what do you say?”
“Nothing”, he said, “I don’t think you’re annoying”.
“Isn’t there anything we do that bugs you in some way? After all, we’re not perfect”, I asked.
“Well, I really feel bad when you fight”, he admitted, “It makes me want to disappear”.
OK, OK, so the big secret is out. Life coaches or not, Ronit and I are sometimes under pressure too and when that happens, we argue, as we did recently, with our unfortunate kids being present. Being from a culture in which expressing how you feel might involve raising your voice and making theatrical gestures (to help emphasize your point), we dominated the family scene, which apparently troubled our kids.
Read more about how to avoid/end arguments…