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This Part 5 begins to shift the focus to your young adult. That discussion begins with how he or she receives whatever is coming from you. If you haven't seen the earlier blogs in this series, you really should go back and do that. They do not stand completely alone.
Part 1 – The kid is stuck.
Part 2 – It’s a family affair. But your kid won’t cooperate.
Part 3 – Start where you can. You.
Part 4 – Choose to clear and heal yourself first.
Your internal beliefs are in the way
Here is what I see most often. Mom and dad have so much pain, judgment, etc. bottled up inside of themselves, they reek of it. In the early going, dad is mad and mom’s hurt. You're both mad and hurt, and much more. Eventually, you take on this defeated quality when it comes to your "problem child". You don’t know what to do. You worry a lot.
You have learned not to yell at the kid. Not to nag at him too much. You love him. You want to support him. If he could just see something. If he could just find some spark.
Here is the thing. It matters a whole lot more where you are coming from than what you say or how you say it. You can utter precisely the same words. You can do your absolute best to be upbeat or whatever it is. Yet, if you are carrying fear, worry, etc. inside yourself, that energy is in the equation. It is a powerful force, spoken or not. The kid feels it. Those same words, from a place of peace, openness, and possibility. They carry that energy. The kid feels that.
I have worked with families where everything the kid experiences from his parents is on a cloud that says “This is really bad. I must be broken. I must be hopeless.”
I love getting into a conversation with the kid. It may be the first time he has ever spoken with someone who didn’t think anything is wrong! I don’t judge him or the situation as anything. I accept it as what is. My ultimate question for him is going to be: Is there something different you would like than what you have? If there is, we can create that.
The kid struggles because of his internal conversation with himself
We haven’t even gotten to the kid. Not really. He is stuck, confused, depressed, unmotivated, whatever it is. Or, he could have a good career going and is uncertain, conflicted, anxious, and more. If he's struggling, that means career, family, behaviors, something, isn't working. That is his outside, physical world. His reality as he sees it. Those are simply the facts.
It goes without saying that his internal beliefs and programming are not serving him. The outside world he has created correlates directly to what he has going on inside. Those internal thoughts and beliefs have him stuck. Just as your internal thoughts and beliefs have you stuck in your pain and frustration around your son. And, yours also contribute to the kid being stuck.
Ultimately, he must get clarity around all of his internal baggage. He simply has to clean it up if he is going to create the sort of life he presumably would truly desire. He absolutely will continue to struggle his entire life, until he changes thoughts and behaviors. He may be a functional struggler or a dysfunctional struggler. But, if he is all balled up inside, he is going to struggle.
Struggling kid meets parent
So, the kid is mucked up inside. Back to my two scenarios from Part IV. In Scenario 1, the parents are mucked up inside too. Muck meets muck. Pain and confusion meet pain and confusion. That won’t work so well. As parents, you want to help your son. More than anything. Yet, your pain and whatever else is accompanying you to that party. It just reinforces all of his confusion. Whatever you say, is much less powerful than the energy on which it rides.
In Scenario 2, the parents have cleared out all the hurt and frustration around the kid. They bring into the equation peace, love, understanding, hope, optimism, and more. They aren’t trying to fake it. They truly feel those feelings. They have learned to accept what is outside of them. Not to like it. Not to give up on looking to create positive change. They’ve just given up the baggage.
The kid reacts differently
Whatever is inside the kid is the same (until it changes). But what he feels coming from you is entirely different. I am not suggesting that alone is going to cause your son to suddenly be a whole other person. I am saying that you will be an infinitely stronger positive force for his growth, whatever that might be, from the place I keep describing. That is your only job at this point. It is not to fix the kid. That is outside of you and outside of your control. It is to show up in the best possible way for you and your son. Not trying to fake it. Not trying to just put on a positive face. But to fundamentally change who and how you are. And, not because you are broken or have done anything wrong. It’s because you can. Good things will follow, if you decide you want to make those shifts.
1. You have internal beliefs relative to your child that are squarely in your way.
2. Of course, your son’s internal beliefs are in his way to. The conversation he is having with himself is keeping him stuck.
3. If you come from a place of internal muck, it’s just going to join with his muck.
4. If you come from peace and clarity, the kid will feel the difference.
5. From this place, you are in the best possible position to help your child.
6. Being in that place is your only job. You can’t fix your child. You can show up for him in a way that will help.
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