Friday, November 22, 2013

When does a discussion become an overbearing lecture?

One of my parenting struggles is fighting the urge to lecture.  I know it happens. I can see my son switch off after a certain number of words fall out of my mouth but I can't stop.   I must be looking for some acknowledgement that he understands and agrees with what I am saying, but instead I get a defeated slump.  If I were smart I would stop the lecture but I can't, I guess I'm not smart.

I get the same thing from the wife.  She just shuts down on me as well. Basically, it is genetic and it's her fault not mine--right?  I would love to think so, but since I am the common denominator, it is most likely my issue. So I need to come up with a plan to curtail this affliction before it becomes a real issue.

Right now it is a minor issue because the boy is pretty compliant and will listen.  But-- and it is a big but --  he is rapidly becoming a teenager which means he will very soon start to show his independence.   My fear is that the defeated stare will morph into aggression or an even further retreat beyond the blank stare. I know that either of these will cause a rift in our relationship.

I think this is a natural issue for Dads. When kids are young they are inexperienced, stupid, and need help with everything from tying their shoes to remembering to brush their teeth.   By the time they get to the teenage years the parent is conditioned to tell  their kids how to do everything.   I know I often forget that the boy is capable of rational thought, and that he does not really need my constant attention.

I would like to ask the readers for some advice and if you feel so inclined share this post with others.   I would love to have as much feedback as possible to get a wide assortment of strategies that would fit my personality.   This would benefit me personally but would also help anyone else that accidentally stumbles across this post.