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Yep. You heard me.
As we were getting ready for school and work the other morning, my oldest son (Troy…he’s 12) told me I was a cool mom. Like out of the blue…”Mom, you know what? I think you’re a cool mom.”
I’ve NEVER been cool. I’ve always been the nerd. I played piano, sang in choir, was chubby, did well in school, and yes…I was even in band.
Being cool was nowhere in my vocabulary. Needless to say, I was beyond floored when my kid called me the cool mom.
Let it be known that I really don’t think I’m cool. I just think my son feels that way because he doesn’t know yet how to articulate his feelings at 12 years old. So, I asked him, “what makes me cool?”
Troy told me the reason he thought I was cool was because he loves how I talk with him. Plain and simple.
I’ll be the first to admit that I feel like a task master most days and that I’m more of a “hard” mom. I rarely feel like the kind of mom my kids would love to be around most the time…just being honest.
However, when I’m tucking him into bed each night, I put away my phone. We chat. I listen. I provide feedback and thoughts for how to handle certain situations going on in his life. We just have this awesome banter. It’s sooo good.
The fact of the matter is that being a good listener along with delivering clear and concise communication is critical to cultivating relationships no matter who you are and what you do. I believe it’s the cornerstone of all facets of our life.
So, how do we go about cultivating rich relationships? I think it’s a good idea to think about what are your key requirements and expectations when it comes to this. For me, I need kind yet direct communication and love to surround myself with people who are good listeners.
I found the most fascinating quote as I was reading an excerpt from Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend’s book, Boundaries. “One of the most important principles in relationship is direct communication and full disclosure of whatever is going on in the relationship.”
This was a mic drop moment for me. When it comes to relationships – professional or personal – in my life, I don’t have the time nor the emotional stamina to pull out a crystal ball to guess what someone may need or want. As much as I love to nurture relationships, I quickly find I don’t have the energy or patience to deal with those who can’t be straight with me.
And, I’m like this with my kids too. I don’t mess around. They know I shoot them straight, and I fully expect the same in return…and, I get just that.
Maybe that’s what Troy was trying to articulate when he said I was a cool mom. He knows what to expect from me because I tell him what I expect from him. He also knows that I’ll sit by his side, and while tucking him into bed…he gets to tell me allll the things, and I listen.
I’m not entirely sure about what’s in the “secret sauce” to being cool. What I can tell you is that listening more than talking and kind yet direct communication will certainly help get you there.