'I Matter' at Home


One of the things I love most about the I Matter Framework and the I Matter Process is that they provide me with such a helpful way of thinking about what is happening, and what is needed and why, in high intensity home times as well as in a professional context.

It has been one of those weeks. This afternoon I sat with my 18 year old son - we were doing a Debrief after an incident that had started last week.

"What happened?" I asked
"Well I did red and so did you".

We agreed that we hadn't seen it coming, as these red route moments don't happen so often these days. However even as my older sons transition into adulthood, red moments do happen and even though I teach these ideas I can still at times find myself in red along with other family members.  (It has often astonished me to discover that some people I have taught have drawn the conclusion that red moments would never happen in my own home!  Not true!)

I have nonetheless now come to trust those unexpected red moments as I have discovered that when my own security officer/inner child becomes inflamed they are usually telling me that I (the Boss) need to take a stronger stand on something.   In the context of parenting young adults, I had had an idea that my parenting role would be pretty much done by now but it hasn't proved to be the case, and sometimes boundaries still have to be stated and restated.

So, today as part of the Debrief we sat in the cafe together and reflected on the sequence of events, and chuckled about what had happened.   I had taken a stand about the importance of treating other people with greater consideration, and as part of the process, my 18 yr old had taken himself off to cool down and decided to sleep in a dinghy in a friends shed!

The Debrief gives such a helpful frame to the rows that still sometimes happen.  "I knew it would be alright though Mum," said my son. "We always work it out eventually."

This is the safety that our rows now sit inside.  It is OK for us to get angry with each other because we all know that we will be able to find a way to chat once emotions have settled - and once our 'Bosses are back from Lunch'.  It took a lot of practice.  I remember the days when my son's found it almost impossible to put their thoughts and feelings into words.  Now they do it well and know how to hold their own.   But one of the fantasies I also had to drop in the process of working out this framework was that good relationships would never include rows. 

Now I believe the rows are sometimes positively important.  Sometimes as the adult we have to challenge, sometimes we have to say No and we are often not popular when we do.   But it is through these moments that we talk about feelings and thoughts and different opinions.  We talk about values and relationships and things that matter and we get to chuckle at ourselves.  So Debriefs can take energy and thought but used carefully the Debrief times can offer precious sweet moments.   We were on green - we passed via red and now we were enjoying green again.

"Was it a comfy dinghy?", I asked.
"Not very," replied my son - "but I had an awesome week!"

If you would like to learn more about how learning about the I Matter Framework and about how to use Debriefs effectively to strengthen your communication and relationships with your child, why not Apply for the next course?


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