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“Yeah, but...": When All Your Suggestions Fall Flat

Updated: 3 days ago

There are times when your kids will reach out for support; they're looking to you for help with some problem they're having. I always love when my kids come to me about their struggles and squabbles. It feels like an honour that they're asking me, and including me in their lives.

So, they tell you the whole scenario, how they're feeling about it, maybe you'll ask some questions to get clarity. Then comes the time when it feels like they're asking what to do, how to deal with the situation. None of your suggestions seem to suit them. "Yeah, that's a good idea, except..." is a common response.

If you keep offering suggestions and ideas, you might end up feeling frustrated. So, how do you deal with this situation? It might help to identify first what your kid needs from you. Try "I want to make sure that I'm most helpful for you, so I just want to ask what you need from me?" or "Just to make sure you get what you need, are you looking to vent, or do you want to figure out what to do?"

They might need help finding their own solutions, and talking through their options could help (ask them what their ideas or options are, where they would like to see themselves in the future, how they imagine life when they've made a decision, or know what to do).

Or maybe they just need to vent; In this case, they're not looking for solutions. If you can identify this with them, your role will be easier, because you can sit back and listen to their story, . You don't need to feel pressure to help them find solutions. This is a great opportunity to practice https://www.shannonfreudcounselling.com/post/active-listening-is-the-gold-standard

Check in with them on how they're feeling at the end, compared to the beginning of chatting with you. What are some next steps for them, even if it's just what they're going to do after the chat? Thank them for opening up, and welcome them back to chatting when they want to again (or whatever feels natural for you).

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