“Mom, dad! Stop playing this blame game!” my daughter shouted when I was busy accusing my wife of bumping into me and ‘making me’ drop the glass. For a second or two we stared at each other in silence… And then it dawned on us: we had done something right! Our 13 year old remembered a golden rule for good communication in the midst of a heated exchange: ownership! The only problem left was that we as parents weren’t exactly modelling what we had managed to teach her.
Good communication flourishes with ownership.
We are fans of Danny Silks books and teaching about KYLO (Keeping Your Love On). His most famous books are Culture of Honour and Loving Our Kids On Purpose. A repetitive theme in most of his work is: own your stuff. Meaning that when things don’t go the way you want or anticipated, don’t fall in the trap of blaming the other or the circumstances. Rather own what you can and what you should, so that you can make the necessary adjustments and learn.
When I do this I immediately see the difference in the connection. Blaming pushes the other away, but when I take responsibility for my stuff and own it, I open the door for Love to keep flowing and connection to be protected. This is not just true for parenting, but in any relationship: with a business partner, a client, friend or spouse. It creates a safe atmosphere. An atmosphere where a child or employee feels space to try and fail, and… grow!
So now I had to clean up. I took ownership of the mess I made by dropping the glass. But also the mess I made by blaming my wife. So I went to her and we both admitted that we had made a mess of it, forgave each other, and we lived happily ever a… until the next ‘hack‘ 😉
This post contains affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, we get a commission when you purchase one or more items.