This is so hopeful! Thank you for setting these Baby Yoda and elephant shirt important boundaries around your family so there is room for discovery, connection, peace, and love. Would your confidants be those who make your struggles about them or those who see you as a separate person who needs their partnership? When I taught high schoolers with severe emotional issues, one of the most common complaints expressed by their parents was that their child did not talk to them or confide in them—that they had no idea what was going on inside their kids’ heads or hearts. One of the most common complaints I received from the students was that their parents did not listen; they overreacted—and admitting their struggle would only fuel their parents’ belief that they were a failure.
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I suspected reality was somewhere in the middle Baby Yoda and elephant shirt of the parents’ perspective and the young person’s perspective, so I offered a tool, that when used consistently could bridge that gap. I told the parents to think about a person in their life with whom they felt most comfortable to share their struggles and triumphs—noting it could go as far back as childhood. I said, Now think about what he or she did or said that made you feel safe to open up. What do you hear? What do you see?