Five Minute Friday scribblings, Mothering, Relationship

Discover: When They Talk

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—DISCOVER. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

DISCOVER

His eyes had held the look all night. That expression saying something was on his mind, but he wasn’t sure if he should talk about it. Maybe all teens wear that expression. I know mine do.

Whenever I’m invited into the inner sanctum (a.k.a. his room), I try to say yes. That night, he asked me to walk to his room with him before he went to bed. What followed was an amazing conversation of questions, reassurances, honest sharing. I closed his door over an hour later, my heart full.

I’ve prayed for years that during these most trying years we would still connect with our sons. 

But friends.

Friends are so important to both of our boys.

Hanging out.

Being accepted by their peers. All of these things often seem to take priority in our boys’ hearts.

That night, though, I discovered something. My boys? They still want me in their inner circle.

I think this is true with most—if not all—teens, even when they seem to push us away.

No, we don’t talk as much as we used to. But the beauty is, when I take time to just listen as they express their fears, their thoughts, their joys, their secret desires? 

That’s a gift.

 

Nothing can replace knowing that they will share their confidences with me.

I know I’m just their mom. But, . . . I’m their mom.

Our boys don’t want to push us into the backseat on their life-car-ride. Well, not always anyway. They want us riding in the front seat with them. They don’t always want to hear our words, but they want our companionship. To be told we love them.

No matter what.

They want to know that we will always accept them. Be in their corner. 

And we will.

The discovering comes when we are intentional and take time to listen. Not always to give them advice (and man, is this on hard sometimes!)

Often, they just want to know they are being heard.

I’m discovering the beauty God’s planted in each of them as I listen to their words.

So, the next time one of our boys invites me into his room? I’ll say yes. In a heartbeat. There’s nothing so precious as being a part of their inner circle.

What about you? What encourages you to invite someone into your inner circle? How do you foster relationship with those around you that goes below skin-deep?

Click to Tweet: We can learn the most interesting things 

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Discover

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31 thoughts on “Discover: When They Talk”

  1. I almost lost relationship with both of our girls because I almost believed their attempts to push me away were for real. I had to cultivate a more mature relationship with them by having ‘coffee Fridays’ with them and quit pretending I was the font of wisdom. I’m so glad I changed course when I did (they were 12 and 13). It wasn’t easy to switch modes, but it’s what they needed. It made all the difference in the world!

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    1. “Cultivate a more mature relationship with them” yes that probably is a key ingrediant to remaining in the inner circle of our children’s lives. It can be hard for us to transition to that role because we tend to continue seeing them as little children in spite of the fact that they no longer are. Great comment!

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    2. So . . . it’s turned into one of those days, but I finally get to spend some time here.. 🙂 Anita, these teen years feel so precarious sometimes. Like I can say or do one thing that will ruin the relationship forever. And yes, that may be may own hormones talking. 😉 I love tat you established Coffee Friday with your girls. I think my husband and I need to be more intentional about spending that kind of time more regularly with our boys.

      thanks for sharing your wisdom here today!

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    1. Yes, Annette. I am so glad we don’t have to have all the answers to have connection. God has wired humans so interestingly, I think, to desire connection as much as/more than having all the answers. 😉

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  2. beautiful post, Jeanne, and the pictures are a vacation for me. Thank you.

    Too ill to say more, sorry, but I think the boys are lucky to have you. No one wanted to listen to anything I said when I was young, and I thought that was normal.

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    1. Andrew, thank you for sharing any words here at all. Thank you for your kind words. I don’t think they always feel lucky to have me as their mom, but that is the drama for every teen, I suspect. I am truly sorry you didn’t have someone to listen to you when you were young. Sending you a hug and lots of prayers, friend.

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  3. Jeanne, thank you for this heart warming mom perspective. Our oldest turns 13 in ten days, and I was just informed he does not want me to come to the school’s turkey lunch. My husband gets it, but I sure don’t. Your words will help me accept the open doors to conversation and connection that our son offers. May God bless you this day, Julie

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    1. You’re welcome, Julie. I’m not much further along on this teen journey than you are. My boys are so different from each other. They push away, but when we see those open doors to connection, we need to take them, right? Keep being available, and asking questions. Saying a prayer for you today, my friend.

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    2. I feel for you. My daughter is showing signs of being an Aspie and has now decided that she does not want any physical contact at all – no kisses, no hugs. She’s only 12. It breaks my heart but I have to respect her wishes.

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    1. Susan, you don’t look OLD enough to have kids that old. It’s interesting to me to hear that that aspect of parent-child relationships are still active when they’ve been n their own for years. And yeah, that tough love . . . so it never ends, huh? 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. Love this reminder of listening and “hanging out.” It’s an important skill in most relationships, but especially as our kids navigate growing up. I love that your boys still want you in!

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    1. You’re right, Annie. Building the relationship with our kids when they are younger is an instrumental foundation for those teen years. I feel pretty grateful that they still want me in. 🙂

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  5. I love this glimpse into your mom-heart and the encouragement you share here. I remember well how much I wanted my parents to pursue me when I was a teenager, even though I acted like I didn’t. Good job doing God’s job of loving and investing in these boys. 🙂

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    1. Awww, thanks, Marie. Hearing your words is encouraging. We’re still early in the teen journey, so I want to remember that our boys want us to pursue them, in their heart of hearts. Thanks for your encouraging words!

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  6. wonderful post jeanne:) so, so true! those were the years i had to learn the importance of listening. often, it was after arriving home from a date or an event (i had girls!) Fortunately, i was a night owl. often i was standing in the bathroom while one of them was removing makeup or something. of course, there were other times too, but those were especially good times that i remember.

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    1. Martha, it seems like my boys most often want to talk at bedtime. I’m learning that less sleep (when it’s for that reason) is okay. I’ll manage the next day and catch a nap when they’re at school. 🙂 I am thinking these special conversations are going to be some of the highlights of these teen years.

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    1. Yes Lois, isn’t she just s breath of fresh air to wake up to? I am so grateful for WordPress all the many talented writers and heart-warming reads. And wonderful encouragement from bros & sisters in Christ. I feel so blessed. x

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  7. Yes! So much THIS: “Our boys don’t want to push us into the backseat on their life-car-ride. Well, not always anyway. They want us riding in the front seat with them. They don’t always want to hear our words, but they want our companionship. To be told we love them.”

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  8. Jeanne, I have found that the most vulnerable conversations happen impromptu. Intentional questions often result in short responses. But car rides, playing games, waiting in line-those are conversation starter moments.

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    1. I love this, Stephanie! It’s true. So often, if I try to make conversation happen, it stays in the shallows. But, when they initiate and we are doing something else (and not having to look each other in the eye—a guy thing, I think—we can go deep. We just need to be open to conversation, don’t we? Thanks for sharing your wisdom, friend!

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! Please forgive my delayed response. It was a rather crazy weekend with those teenage boys of mine. 😉 All I know, with teens, is that we need to be open to talking when they’re ready, don’t we? I’ve accepted the reality that I won’t be getting as much sleep in the coming years. 😉

      I’m so blessed that you stopped by. Thank you!

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