A mother of twins asks, “How do I get my son to open up to his sister?”
i totally agree with you. Men have been socialized to be “strong and silent”, no emotion, etc. [This is a reference to the psychologytoday.com post, “Men and Women Handle Sibling Estrangement Differently.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/node/1182228/preview ] My twins, boy and girl, age 40, had a falling out. I don’t know why cause they won’t say. My daughter will talk about issues, her brother doesn’t almost never. When he does, he’ll do it in a long text message to me, but not her. There’s a family dynamic because neither of us are happy with her relationship. I no longer comment or talk to her. Her twin deeply internalized it and is very upset (her partner of 16 years isn’t a very nice person). I’ve told him, her decision and all we can do is be there for her and her children and that there’s only the 3 of us so we need to stick together. My son has always been an “old soul” even as a child. They aren’t like me,who talks about things good or bad. It’s good for the soul. Not sure how to get him to open up more. Any suggestions?
1 thought on “A mother of twins asks, “How do I get my son to open up to his sister?””
Joyce – Thank you for your question. It’s so frustrating to watch our children struggle in their relationship. Still, it’s important that you do not get caught in the middle or triangulate with your son. I would encourage you to tell your son to discuss his issues directly with his sister. Maybe they can do an activity they enjoyed as children — biking, running, or doing a project together. Somehow, those activities help to open up dialogue. Of course, you can’t make him talk, but if he’s willing, here are my suggestions for a serious conversation about their impasse.
· Sit down together, face to face.
· Listen without interrupting, without challenging each other’s stories. The one goal is to seek understanding. Experts agree that reconciliation is impossible without true, genuine listening.
· Acknowledge, with empathy, the other person’s hurt, anger, or alienation. Give them the benefit of the doubt; assume they have sincere, trustworthy intentions. When each party accepts both parties’ experiences, neither feels devalued or shut out.
· Stress and act on your willingness, desire and hope to create a mutual bond.
. Let go of anger