I must say that I can only take at the most 10% credit in the following story and give 90% of credit to these wonderful parents and their son for their efforts and the higher power that inspired them to bring positive changes in their lives. Even the 10% credit I am taking really goes to all the wonderful teachers, mentors, and coaches I have had who shared the gifts of communicating, motivating, encouraging, and loving people. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time ready to do what I truly enjoy.
A mother of young boy said to me a few months ago, “I realize that I have a big ego and that does not allowme to change my negative thoughts and my behaviors towards my husband”. I asked her if she had thought about what does that kind of behavior do to her son’s behavior. She mentioned that both she and husband had been to marriage counseling for several months and made some progress. I asked her if she was happy with the progress or if she felt stuck. “Not knowing what to do and how to move forward can get frustrating. No, I am not happy about our son showing more and more anger playing with toys and also his teacher in school is also concerned with this our little boy’s angry behavior with kids”, she said.
She asked me if I would coach her how to move forward with this issue since I was already coaching her husband in discovering his purpose in life and expressing it in his career and personal life. I said I would if she agreed to take responsibility of taking baby steps towards her goals and whatever else is truly important to her.
In my interview with her she revealed to me that peace and connection to higher power was important to her. She added that having a positive influence on her son, better communication with her husband and a romantic and loving relationship with him would be nice.
She started to ask for more peace and a “stronger connection” - in our coaching sessions we would take a pause and sit down peacefully at times, and at other times we would imagine a stronger connection with all - the whole universe, higher power, and individuals in our lives.
Within a few weeks of both husband and wife’s learning and practicing simple communication skills, signs of reduced anger and more cheerfulness in their son were apparent. Our focus was to learn and practice the skills - asking the right questions at the right time, listening, pausing, observing body language, etc. Both the parents got pretty good at creating mini agreements. They practice “agree to disagree” and agree on a day and time to get together to resolve some disagreements. Moving forward towards what is truly important to them is to be remembered all the time (when they would get angry, I made sure I asked them again of that and reminded them again and again gently to keep their eye on where they want to go).
They told me a few days ago that they danced in front of their son and he asked them to do this more often in front of him.
I have met their kid several times and I can say that I see a beautiful smile in his eyes and in his face. I feel he is an aggressive (in sports and learning), energetic kid but not an angry kid anymore. Love is what he is all about now. He gives me “high five - low five”, and then jumps up and hugs me"
What a powerful story. To think that parents, in changing their relationship with each other, can transform the emotional aura of their child is really powerful. I think that we take it for granted that our behavior towards our spouses can really affect our kids on a very deep level. In thinking about some of my own communication blocks, 9 out of 10 times I can trace them back to my parents' relationship with each other and how they chose to communicate (i.e., not in the healthiest of ways). I've tried to be intentional about fixing some of those blocks myself, but I think it's really powerful to see this sort of transformation occur between couples and note the trickle-down effect.