My focus is on active listening, the key to open up the flow of communication and transform your relationships with your ageing parents.
The thing with parents is (usually):
The trouble is the vast majority of families take listening for granted. Do as you’re told, type of thing.
The bottom line is if we don’t listen we can’t communicate let alone relate with someone at a deeper level.
This in turn prevents the flow of communication and the opportunity to really know what is going on for the other person as they speak.
No wonder then that...
A fertile ground for misunderstanding and resentment often bottled-up over the years, inevitably shaping the way we think, feel and act.
But our life and emotional energy is finite. So we better stop wasting them and move on to make the most of all the opportunities around us.
What I would like to say is this
We never had it so good in terms of opportunities but we can still be held back for all sorts of reasons.
(‘I’m not good enough.’ ‘I can’t do it.’ And the ifs, buts, tomorrow I’ll...).
Because we are living longer we will become more dependent on our children.
So to have a good relationship with those around us will free the energy we need to get along well and really listen to on another.
Then when life events hit us hard we have the strength to hold on together.
Who am I?
My name is Sonia, and there are two things that makes me really sad: the waste of endless human talent and potential and the pain caused by troubled family relationships.
I put both together because emotional pain can hold people back preventing them from discovering their talents, seeing opportunities, and fulfilling their potential.
For almost 10 years I worked with and observed family interactions between patients and their relatives in a rehabilitation hospital.
More recently I have been working privately on a 1-1 basis with executives who are very successful at work but unhappy with their interaction with their adult children. An older generation wanting to gain insights in their children's lives.
The good thing in all that is,
Before I say what active listening is let’s see if you agree with me:
1 – You can’t really choose your parents
2 – You can’t change anyone (only yourself if you want to)
3 – The adults in our past had their own challenging childhoods (and limitations)
4 – You’re responsible for your life (it’s up to you to make the most of it)
So we all have choices to make and tick the right box!
The active listening approach is widely used in talking therapies and by consultants in the business sector. Knowing about its importance I want to share with you all I know about active listening and how you can use it to improve your relationship with your parents.
Pay attention to the words and the emotions attached to them without making any assumptions, instead
Ask questions to make sure you understood what has been said.
I only wish to have known how to listen to my own children many decades ago.
That we don't live with so many painful regrets for the things we've said or that went unsaid or the things we have done or failed to do.
All I want is for you to make the most of your loved ones and of your own life.
This involves proven areas of study in the way we related to one another and the importance of a more harmonious life within ourselves and with others.
I mainly work with clients who:
Don’t want to talk about their past. But they are able to get hold of the emotion of past painful events (frustration, shame, humiliation, guilt), be in the present and visualise what they want to achieve.
Don’t want to have family therapy. The focus is on the person and on how together we can find different ways to start listening to their loved ones.
Now a little hint on:
(if you are not in talking terms with your parents right now try it with a child or a nice friend!)
Listen with the same curiosity you had as a young child. The only difference now is that no one is going to ask you to be quiet. The person will be keen to answer questions that are asked with genuine interest.
Listen without adding your own experience to it (this takes the conversation away from the person who is talking). It’s not about you. It’s about the person you are listening to.
Listen with an open heart, meaning with generosity, giving some of your time and the space for the person to talk. Be ready to notice when the other person feel valued. Then yo will also feel valued in return.
I've worked with Sonia when I thought it was too late to make up with my father. Together we found simple ways to deal with complex issues that benefited my mother as well.
Sonia's approach is brilliant. She really cares and helps you find practical solutions for the issue you are facing. Working with her I have become a better person inside while more aware of the effects of my communication on others .
I have been listening to you all along
Because if you've read this far, I have to say:
You already have what you need to start listening to your parents in a different way:
So because of that I have something for you...just click below - it's about the reasons why to listen to your parents now.
You have nothing to lose by giving it a go. But lots to gain on how you could go about having a more satisfying relation with your parents.
My name is Sonia Lapaire. I help adults (like you) to sort out their relationship with their ageing parents. Just in time to shake things up and move on.
For you to be ready for the next family gathering without letting yourself down again.