I Don't Want To Be The Mother Of A "little" Boy - The Quality Of Life
I Don't Want To Be The Mother Of A "little" Boy - The Quality Of Life

Video: I Don't Want To Be The Mother Of A "little" Boy - The Quality Of Life

Video: I Don't Want To Be The Mother Of A "little" Boy - The Quality Of Life
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Quite recently, one after another, our magazine published articles about the separation of adult children from their parents. I've already noticed that articles (even unpublished ones) "attract" clients with similar topics. And here in front of me is Anna, the mother of three grown children. After preliminary curtsies, we begin to work.

Anna: My son is 19 years old and he is completely dependent! I'm tired of doing his studies. He finishes the first year of the institute, and it is like the first class for me again. I have to kick him all the time to keep him busy and complete tasks.

Anna said that her son Vanya pulls to the last, not doing current work. And several times it came to the point that my mother, having scolded him with all the severity, “helped out” and printed his essays herself. The promise of what was "the last time" did not work - everything was repeated with sad regularity. Despite the fact that she was paying for her studies, at the moment Anna was in despair - in recent weeks her son pretended to be stubbornly preparing for the exams, but two of them just skipped!

Yulia Vasilkina: The situation is clear to me in general terms. Tell us a little about how Ivan was as a child.

A.: Vanya is an average child. I have all three "weather". It's hard to say why it happened, but Vanya always seemed special to me. It was easier for me with the other two children - both to negotiate and communicate. And Vanya … He is very affectionate, kind - both then and now. Tactilely he is closer to me than all children - he loves affection, hugs, and I am very pleased. But he is terribly dependent. I can no longer be the mother of a "little" boy. I would like to completely distance myself, but it doesn't work. I’m scared that I’m dissolving - I can just scream awful at him, insult him.

Yu. V.: So, you seem to be at a crossroads and would like to choose a strategy for further communication with your son, right?

A.: Yes, that's right.

Yu. V .: Mark the paths that you see.

A.: The first way - I continue to totally control his life and studies. The second - I say to him: “You are an adult, and now live by your own mind. What will be will be. " Then I completely disconnect from his life.

Yu. V.: Are there any other options?

A.: I don't see. Perhaps you can tell me.

Yu. V.: Okay, then I will say what I see. You talk about the first option with despair. It looks like you can't bear to even think about continuing to live like this. For my part, I can say that this option is really bad, as it will not allow your son to grow up and become independent. As for the second option, here too I see a grain of despair. When you completely disconnect from your son's life, you are afraid to lose warmth and affection.

A.: Yes, both options do not suit me.

Yu. V.: So, our task is to find a suitable option.

And here projective maps came to our aid, which help to clarify the problem already in the course of its solution. To begin with, I asked Anna to choose several cards that would indicate the current state of relations with her son, and explain each of them.


A. A.: The spiral-like map resembles our relationship: the endlessly repeating one and the same problem. Here is another card - a heart-candle, this is my endless pain, my heart is restless for him. And two dandelions on the cracked earth - on the one hand, our warm relationship, and on the other - breaking through something. And this one fits! The elephant is in front, and the elephant is behind him - I follow him, pushing endlessly.

Yu. V.: Now choose cards that would talk about what kind of relationship with your son you would like to have.

A. (cheering up): Two horses side by side - existence on the rights of two equal adults. These ripe apples on the branches are a symbol of the Garden of Eden. Tulip, gentle, strong, harmonized relationship. And the stairs up - the way out of the impasse.

So, we have two groups of cards illustrating the initial and ideal state. Moreover, the staircase has become a natural symbol of the transition. It remains to choose cards that will denote the characteristics of the son.

A.: This ruminant, camel, is a symbol of laziness. Vanya says that he lacks willpower. Here's another card that fits: here it seems the track is so uncertain. He does not yet know who he is and what he wants. And here's another picture - a nest with feathers: he is very attached to me, he cares about my approval or disapproval.


I drew Anna's attention that almost all images reflect the negative characteristics of her son. And asked him to choose those that would speak of his strengths. Anna thought for a long time. This is not strange: if a person has been in the “field of denial” for a long enough time in relation to a loved one, then his image is painted in gray-black tones. A psychologist can help you remember the positive traits that were "lost" somewhere along the way.

A.: I think he would be successful in management. He organizes people well, is able to find an approach to everyone. Vanya is also a good speaker. And he has a desire to benefit others.

I clarified what faculty Vanya is studying at. It turned out to be biological. Having not decided on his personal choice, Vanya decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, a prominent biologist. The father had the same dream - that one of his sons would continue his profession. The matter was complicated by the fact that the father, although he remains in the life of the children, has not lived with Anna for 10 years, and therefore the figure is "overvalued." Vanya told his mother that he was afraid to fly out of the biology department, because some people would stop communicating with him, for example, dad. The father added to this additional tension, saying that, of course, he would not stop communicating, but he would be very disappointed.

Yu. V.: Anna, can you imagine what kind of load it is for your son? He cannot learn, because "not his", and cannot fail to learn in order to preserve a sense of his own worth for his father and himself. The guy is in a difficult situation!

Anna agreed - indeed, she thought about it. Now she had to choose cards that would speak of those features of her that need to be taken into account when determining further strategy.

A.: I like this frog. It is made of iron. I say to myself: "There is my opinion and wrong." I always know what is best for my children. Here's another continuation - this blue knot. My maximalism. At the same time, I have a strong sense of home, a commitment to myself to give the children as much as I can. I myself understand that this is not always rational behavior. And I also take all childhood problems as part of my life. If I haven't submitted my report, I must help him. I've always lived like this. And I am also very ambitious, it is important for me to give the children the best that I can.


Yu. V.: Look, Anna, what an interesting picture you get. An ambitious maximalist, who knows how it will be "right" for everyone, perceives all the problems of children as her own, and besides, she is ready to do everything. Are you still surprised that the son is the way he is?

A. (smiling, surprised): But why, then, are other children more independent?

Yu. V.: There is always someone in a family who is more ready to fall for the bait than others. And often this is the middle child - from the weather he got the least: he was never the only one, and after him the youngest child appeared very quickly. There was a lot in short supply for him, and he found a way to get the most out of you.

A.: It seems that so … I am most afraid that he will be one of the worthless people, since he is so dependent.

At the word "I'm afraid," I, like a hound, "made a stance." Now the ball will unwind! Mom's fears are what drives the relationship with the child. I asked Anna to identify the main fears that she has.

A.: This image is like a dense web, from which you cannot get out. I am afraid that Vanya, despite his education and intelligence, will vegetate and will not be able to succeed. This very scary woman is like a tombstone. I am very afraid of their death, very much. I work in the registry office, where every day people come to register the deaths of young people. And here's another suitable picture, with playing cards - we have a very strange relative, "in years", but never took place.


And then a breakthrough came! We talked with Anna about the fact that it was fears that prevented her from adequately and timely expressing her disapproval of her son's actions. Therefore, dissatisfaction accumulated and "burst out" by the scandal. For many years, Anna fought with herself, with her natural emotions, afraid to "regret" that she had expressed them.

A.: Can you change something?

Yu. V.: It's time to choose a new strategy so that you get less tired, and Vanya has the opportunity to become an adult. So, what I see as a new strategy is to consider the fact that both of you value a close and warm relationship. Do you see an option in which you give him responsibility, but keep close and warm?

A.: I think so … I can tell him that I will accept any of his decisions. That he can pick up documents from a university that he does not really like, go to work and study in another place (but already earning money for it on his own). If he decides, he can stay to study at the biology faculty, but then he will do it himself.

Anna chose two more pictures to illustrate her decision. One - the corner of a wooden house - symbolized that responsibility and decisions would now be on the son. The second is a window overlooking the sea, indicating that the emotional warmth in the relationship will remain.

At the end of the consultation, Anna said that she received internal permission to change the situation and end overprotection. She also "legalized" negative emotions - they no longer looked like an obstacle to maintaining intimacy and helped to give timely and clear feedback.


PS A few days later, Anna happily informed me that she had spoken with her son and outlined her position. Ivan successfully studied for several days without pushing her and passed the exam for "five". Both were encouraged. A few months later Anna wrote: “Vanka seems to have become more serious, but he will not hand over one of the subjects. But I will not leave the path, I liked this path!"

Spectrographs of U. Khalkola and A. Kopytin were used in the consultation.

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