Being a single mom and trying my best to provide a good life for my family, I often have things neglected while fulfilling my responsibilities. One of the most I'm guilty of is that... Did I help my son mentally? Am I checking on how he feels and what he struggles with? I do know how he is doing but I don't check on the deeper thoughts that he has.
Thankfully, I have established my relationship with him previously that we have these conversations.
Back when he was around 9 years old he experienced bullying that he tried to hide from me, I discovered it when he asked if he can transfer school. So I talk to him and encourage him to never be afraid to say everything to me. Since then, I encourage him to open up to me by asking him what happened at school every time he arrives from school. Even if sometimes it's boring and redundant, I still listen. Until eventually, he gets into it and doesn't wait for me to ask. Every time he arrived from school he opens up everything including his frustrations and problem. And then as he grows he opens up everything besides school-related happenings.
And on his 13th birthday, I talked to him and told him, "I know teenager life will be hard. It's full of insecurities and questions that don't make sense, but always know that the same rule applies; Talk to me. Open up to me. I may not have all the answers. I may not know the solutions but I will be here to listen and share my thoughts when you need it and if I have one. I may be lost track of you and don't listen to you but please don't be afraid to remind me that you just need someone to listen and understand you. Because teenage life and puberty mix together can sometimes hard to handle but with someone to support you, you'll get by."
So back to our conversation earlier...
We talked and shared a lot of things. And towards the end of the conversation, he said... "You know what you're like my therapist!" I responded, "Yes, I am your therapist today, and whenever you'll need one. I hope I was able to help you with things that are bothering you."
I didn't get to finish the things that supposed to be on my agenda today, but I am glad that I was able to have a conversation with my son and he opens up to me.