The other day I was writing and I got carried away. When my son wanted to know why I was typing so fast, I had to explain that it was because I was writing about cognitive dissonance and I wanted to get all my thoughts down before I lost them. I’m fascinated by cognitive dissonance. I wrote my master’s thesis about it.
I then made the middle-aged mom mistake of trying to put it in modern lingo. I told him that cognitive dissonance is my jam.
Yes, he did roll his eyes and yes, I deserved that eye roll.
I’m determined to not be the kind of parent that my mother was and so I talk to him. A lot. He gets to hear my ideas and theories and advice. I listen to his problems and opinions and plans.
As with most males, those talks happen best when we are doing other things. Driving in the car, prepping a meal, packing to move. It takes the pressure off and conversation flows.
At 16 he is not real big on affection, but his actions show he cares about me. A few weeks ago, I had taken some clothes down to the laundry room when a man from the other end of the complex started yelling. I heard the yelling but didn’t know what was going on because I could not see him. As I went back up to our apartment I saw my son standing outside our door.
At first, I thought it was kind of odd that he’d go outside to see what the yelling was since our window provides a view of most of the courtyard. Then I realized he had come outside to make sure I was safe since we couldn’t see what was going on with the yelling. Turned out to be some guy yelling into his phone arguing with what must have been some company about a refund he wanted.
While he may think I’m a dork for pulling out the psychology and sociology when I’m giving him advice or explaining things to him, I know that he is actually listening.
He will tell me about the problems his friends are having and then will add that he had given them some piece of advice that I gave him.
I must be doing okay as a parent if my teenager is quoting me to his friends.
I bet he won’t tell them that cognitive dissonance is my jam, though.