I’ve been a Life/ Relationship/ Transformational coach for 5 years now, working primarily with men (and some women) on understanding complementary (not opposite) gender behavior better.
(I was a Massage Therapist/ Couples Dance Instructor for 17 years before that, with a BA in Psych, and an MS in Human Movement Science.)
I grew up in a family that did not prioritize honesty. The boundaries were very strict right and wrong, black and white. I apparently saw grey, and did not feel heard or seen or understood as a result. I had about 20 years of wonderful, long term, effective therapy, and my relationship with my parents is now remarkably satisfying, and nourishing to all of us! I feel very blessed.
I had my son, Ian, when I was 17, and my Mom, thank goodness, enabled me to enter therapy (and went herself!) when I was pregnant. I healed so many wounds, received *incredible* guidance and parenting instruction, and developed some very clear standards on which I based my parenting.
Acknowledging and apologizing (not groveling) after my mistakes was one standard. Not being my child’s friend was another. Calmly but firmly holding each boundary I established was a third. Speaking to my son with respect was one more.
I wanted him to hear about the birds and the bees from me. I hadn’t heard about my period until I was 9 years old. I read “Are you there, God, it’s me, Margaret?” and then my cousin, sister and mother sidestepped the conversation for months. Ugh.
We never discussed sex and drugs at home. We didn’t have the internet. Can you imagine where I got my information from? Other 4th graders, of course!
I somehow grew up with a yearning for openness and honesty. I knew that that was what I wanted to teach my son. I taught him about eggs and sperm as simple facts of life before he was 2 years old… we read “The Miracle of Life” as a children’s book. However, the parenting advice I received was to never offer him info about sexuality, sex and foreplay until he asked very specific, direct questions. Which he did, between the ages of 9-14. I answered his questions briefly and directly, letting him know he could always ask more.
At times, before puberty, I *insisted* that we discuss these challenging topics. Even as I searched for good, solid male role models, I knew, as a single mother, that if I didn’t establish myself as a safe place for him to come with ANY questions, my son would be at a loss in this world. I was determined to give him every advantage I could. You mothers understand this! While he now (at age 21) admits that my bringing up these topics regularly was uncomfortable and he knew he was different from his peers as a result, he will tell you he is very grateful for it, as the open conversation removed the shame from taboo topics… topics that are simple and natural and real.
Fast forward to his late teens, and my immense discomfort with the topic of drugs became palpable. It’s amazing… whatever stumbling blocks or resistances we have as parents… our children will push and push and challenge us to address our own issues. Well, I was not willing to address my resistance to any drugs… (and I had the law on my side… all drugs were bad, and illegal… I felt *justified*!!!)
… and so my son made absolutely sure I did.
In our coaching together, Ian and I will not be offering any judgment on the content of your boundaries. You, as Mom, will be setting your own standards, morals and boundaries about sex, drugs, porn, etc.
What we’ll be working with is HOW you choose to:
1- SPEAK to your son about your ethics and decisions
2- LISTEN to your son about his exploration of these real-life topics
3- work with ACCEPTING that he will be making his own choices in life… and holding your hand through the possibility that they may be radically different from your own.
If you are utterly afraid of where you both are/ where he is right now, you are in the right place, researching working with us.
If you think that there is only one way to do things right, then working with Ian and me probably won’t be a match for you.
Please go on to read the “Note” from Ian. And then feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.