Recently, I had a real health scare, and while I’m doing pretty well, it will take me a while to get back on my feet. My problem is that my only son is not being supportive at a time when I need him most. I’m a single mother who’s raised him to young adulthood all alone. This has caused ill will between us. How can we fix this situation?
The first thought I have about your plight is to ask if you’ve made your needs clear to him? Often, we think people aren’t being supportive when they are simply clueless. Your son can’t read your mind, and he may think he’s being supportive when you, obviously, think otherwise. Make sure you clearly tell him what you need from him at this time and I’m guessing he will step up and help you out, or, it may be that your son is inclined to being selfish and self-centered.
Some people, men and women, are natural born caretakers, and others go running when they’re not the center of attention or the one being propped up. They do a disappearing act when they’re needed to help out. Which is your son? Is he a giver or a taker? If you’ve answered that he is more inclined to be a taker, then his response to your health scare is predictable. As his mother, now may be a good time to ask him for help with specific things, and communicate clearly that you expect his help. Will you get it? Hopefully you will, but if not, you will have started on the path of a new way of relating to your son where you expect him to act like a grownup and show a little give and take. No matter the age of our children, we are parents for life and it is our duty to teach our kids. These are tough waters to navigate, especially when you’ve already fallen prey to the unexpected turbulence of a serious health scare.
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• How will you move toward a new, grown-up, way of relating with your son?
• What do you need to communicate to him more clearly?
• How can you show him respect while impressing to him that he can show maturity by helping you through this crisis?