Let’s say you want to have a conversation with someone in your family whom you offended or wronged during the divorce or child custody process.
For instance, maybe your 11-year-old son has been furious, since you and his mother split up. He has been moping in his room, and he won’t even talk to you. How should you engage with him and try to “make things right,” if that’s even possible?
Typically, parents try strategies and tactics ranging from the heartless (“leave him alone, he’ll get over it”) to the way too mushy (“spend hours and hours and hours talking about your feelings”).
Different tactics may work for different kids. But you might find some utility from this approach. Rather than treating such conversations casually, why not treat them very seriously? Why not think about a conversation with your son, just like you would think about an important business proposal you’re going to present to a prospective client?
Obviously, you don’t want to be stiff and formal. But you DO want to spend time thinking about what you want to say, how you want him to react, what might go wrong, what you can do to get the “meeting” back on track, if things do go wrong, and so forth.
Also, recognize that you are probably not going to “solve” whatever is bothering him in a single conversation or even in a series of conversations. Define your goals in a way that you can “win” and hold yourself accountable. Don’t define your goals in terms of his reactions.
For instance, you might say: “whatever happens in this conversation, I am not going to yell. I am not going to blame the mother, and I AM going to listen actively the whole time.” No matter what happens in the conversation, if you hit those three key metrics, you can consider it a success. Of course, you also need legal help with your child custody battle. Call the Toussaint Law Firm, PC immediately for mindful, strategic help with your case.