I am now accepting anonymous parenting questions for this blog; here’s the first one:
I really messed up. I started parenting my son before I knew about being conscious, respectful, and kind. He’s 12 now. Is there hope of repairing our relationship? I fear he’ll be angry with me forever.
Oh, dear reader. I wish I was sitting next to you right now, instead of on the other side of the internet. I’d get you a nice hot cup of tea and maybe a cookie or two, and I’d let you talk and talk and I’d listen and ask a few questions. Eventually, and when the time was right for me to share a few thoughts, I might say something like this:
Yes, of course there is hope. Of this I am absolutely certain. It won’t happen overnight, and you’re starting down this path just as your son is entering those tricky teen years, so it’s going to be a bumpy ride, but hang in there. It will be worth it.
Even though your question only asked if there is hope, I suspect you have many more questions. I suspect you’re wondering what to do, how to start the process of reconnecting with your son again. There is so much I don’t know about the two of you and what has happened between you, so it’s hard to say exactly where to start, but I do know one thing for certain.
You must find a way to forgive yourself.
You can find the rest of my response to this question over at my Mindful Parenting blog on PsychCentral.com.