Most couples and family systems never experience satisfying resolution. Conversations are commonly fragmented and disjointed and no one feels seen and heard. This is an “anti bonding” formula to say the least. The most common failure of many men and avoider males and females, is to immediately begin problem solving and analyzing. While this is frequently needed, for the most part it is unnecessary and comfort and nurture is a far superior form of resolution.
We were baby sitting our four and a half year old granddaughter this weekend for an overnighter. In the morning I was brushing her hair and I told her how I used to brush the hair of her Aunt Amy and Aunt Kelly when they were little as well. She started to tear up with a sad look on her face so I said, “Honey you have tears and you look sad. What’s the matter?” She said “I miss my daddy.” I said, “Well I don’t blame you. Come sit on my lap and tell me what you miss the most.” So she slowly slid onto my lap and said, “When he takes me on his surf board.”
I told her how special that was and what I good daddy he was. I quietly rocked her for a minute or so and then she got up. She looked at me and said, “That was a bonding moment.” I laughed and we went on about our morning. What I did with my granddaughter was a prototype you can use whether a person is four, fourteen or forty five. Oh, I could have analyzed and problem solved and pulled out and pulled out the kid’s clock and said
“When Mickey’s big hand is on the 12 and his little hand is on the 3, you will get to see dad.” OR “Let’s make a chart and do a count down.” OR “Let’s get out a map and chart his progress… see, he’s getting closer by the hour.”
Instead, there was no analysis … no problem solving… and she was content. Somehow, there was resolution that satisfied. All I did was comfort her and listen to her emotions. The key components for any age are:
- Talk about the emotion you see.
- Create touch and ask the person to tell you some more about how they feel.
- Invite them to sit on your lap (yes even if they are fourteen or forty five) and let you hug them.
- Ask them if there is anything more they want to say.
- Validate their sadness.
- Sit quietly with them until they are done.
They will see you differently…
They will love you for it…
They will feel resolution.
It will be a “bonding moment.”
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay