So you arrived home and your Mum met you at the door. You felt she was grumpy, angry, impatient. And you thought, 'here we go again'?
Have you seen this behaviour before? Do you wonder why she behaves this way? Do you wonder why she is always on at you and why it seems you can never do anything right?
What's the reason? Is it your fault? Is it because she is deliberately trying to make your life miserable? Is it your someone else's fault?
We all make up reasons to explain other people's behaviour. But how would it be if there were some deeper levels of explanations that could help you understand your Mum better and help her understand you better? How would it be if this could help you on a journey towards a better relationship? Not a perfect conflict free one, but one in which you were more able to give each other the benefit of the doubt?
So there might be a few different reasons for your Mum's behaviour: In I Matter they are each are illustrated by a poster, and each of these posters uses the colours red and green to illustrate how different ideas can be connected together.
So in I Matter when people are feeling stressed out or fed up we say they are in a state of RED. If it has been going of for a long time, we we describe as 'The Fog'. Have you noticed that when you or others are very stressed out that it is much easier to be clear on what you don't want!!
So you want your Mum to stop shouting at you! You want to stop feeling so angry and you would like to be looking forward to coming home. She probably wants you to be more thoughtful or considerate about something. You want her to stop this RED, and she wants you to stop, but what do you both want INSTEAD?
Likely is you want to be feeling happy to be coming home! Your Mum would like to look forward to you coming home too. Or you want your Mum to handle the pressures she is under with more confidence and skills? Think for a moment about what would be happening if your Mum and you both handled the situation with greater well-being? What would GREEN look like in your Mum? And in You?
In I Matter we refer over and over to the direction of travel. And the direction which is quite easy to remember, is a journey from RED to GREEN. It is really worth learning more about what these states look like in you or others because if you know what they look like it is much easier to know where you are, whether you are heading in the right direction and whether you have got to where you want to go yet.
If you would like to learn more, click here and ask an adult to look at some of the I Matter Project posters so that you can study them and discuss it. Or look out for coming blogs written for young people on other key I Matter ideas.
Or, start watching out for RED and for GREEN - there is lots of very interesting stuff to learn but you are likely to catch on quickly!
Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher and Parent
I Matter Parent Blog
There is nothing more powerful than a parent who takes the trouble to care