I am really bursting at the seams with all the ideas I have about the communication challenge. Of course, it will take forever to touch on everything. But at least one of my girlfriends agrees with me that it is a serious issue and should be addressed in every possible way.
During a late-night telephone conversation two nights ago, she brought a very important point to my attention. She suggests that for the cycle of misunderstandings (and to a very great extent even the violence) in relationships to be broken, those of us who are parents now have to do our part to break it!
My friend went on to tell me that there are times she has to remember that she does not want to repeat the old pattern in the way she relates to her child. I also try to do my part in the way I deal with my son.
The old pattern dictates that we treat our sons like kings in the home. Do everything for them—from the laundry to delicious meals. So they grow up expecting that they are to be taken care of the same way. But our mothers and grandmothers, God bless them for they meant well, sacrificed themselves so much. Now, in a strange kind of way, it is almost as though men have been set up to be sacrificed!
Kind of scary isn’t it?
I am teaching our son, now 11-years-old, how to do things around the house. Of course he rebels at times. But I am not giving in to the old pattern. No way!
Mind you, this has nothing to do with not wanting any woman to “make style” on him when he grows up. What I want him to realise however is that each and every one has a contribution to make in the home. There was a time I would have felt guilty, not doing everything in the home myself. Not any more.
Another thing that struck me one day, almost like a slap in the face, is that we are not friends with the men in our lives—husbands, significant others. If we treat our men as friends, we would find it easy to talk with and understand them.
Have you ever wondered why, as women, we can forgive our sisters/friends so easily and yet put up a stone wall when it comes to forgiving our mate—who is really supposed to be closer to us than anyone else? I can feel temperatures rising, but sisters, forgiving is forgiving, understanding is understanding—no gender instructions attached.
I also want to remind women that men are not mind-readers. We talk to everyone else about them, but them. Yes, we think we talk to them, but are we really doing so when we believe that they do not understand? Let’s really talk to our men. Not condemning, or accusing, just talk!