I’m working through the How To Feel Better program and I just completed the Manual worksheet for my teenage son. (I submitted a Model earlier this week about him being disrespectful.)
Here’s what I put in my worksheet:
What I would like him to do:
1. Be appreciative
2. Help out around the house
3. Be respectful
4. Get better grades
5. Follow through when he says he’s going to do something
Why I want them to behave this way:
1. I do a lot for him and he takes it/me for granted
2. He lives here too and should contribute to keeping our home tidy
3. Because I’m his mom
4. He’s so smart and isn’t even trying to do well in school
5. So I can trust him when he says something
How would I feel if he behaved this way:
How would my thoughts change:
I wouldn’t think he was an entitled brat.
I would think he is a trustworthy, motivated, responsible young man.
Do you want them to behave this way even if they don’t want to?
Yes to items 1-3. Families should be appreciative, helpful and respectful to each other.
No to items 4 & 5, although it’s so difficult for me to understand WHY he wouldn’t want to do these things.
What do I make it mean that he doesn’t behave this way:
That I’ve failed him.
That I’m a terrible mom.
That I haven’t raised him right.
So is the way to let go of this manual / these expectations to set boundaries for the areas that need clear boundaries (eg. If you do not take the trash out by Thursday, then I will not give you any money this week)?
How do I let go of expectations? I mean it’s not like I can say, you must show x amount of appreciation or I’m not ever doing anything for you again. I just want to understand how to not continue to allow these thoughts rule me. I also don’t want to be an emotional child and blame him for how I’m feeling (which I’ve done).