Mediate This!

Matthew Brickman: How My Adult Son and I Worked Through Our Conflict

September 24, 2021 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 38
Mediate This!
Matthew Brickman: How My Adult Son and I Worked Through Our Conflict
Show Notes Transcript

Last episode Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell answered the question about how to get your adult child to therapy to work on the relationship. This episode is an interview with Matthew and his almost 24 year adult son. They discuss how they improved their relationship in therapy after a parenting plan expired. They also talk about how Matthew helped his son and his son's mother negotiate their issues last week.

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Matthew Brickman is a Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediator who has worked in the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit Courts since 2009 and 2006 respectively. But what makes him qualified to speak on the subject of conflict resolution is his own personal experience with divorce.

Download Matthew's book on iTunes for FREE:
You're Not the Only One - The Agony of Divorce: The Joy of Peaceful Resolution

Matthew Brickman
President iMediate Inc.
Mediator 20836CFA
iMediateInc.com



Mediate This!:

Hi, my name is Sydney Mitchell. Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast, where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Matthew Brickman:

Today, I am joined with my son without Sydney today, but I'm sitting here with my son recently, Sydney and I did a Q and a where one of our listeners had asked about how to deal with conflict with an adult child. So I thought who better to have on than my own son, who is an adult child that I have had conflict with. And we've had to work through that. And recently I was there and able to help him work through conflict with his mother. So welcome to the podcast, Matthew. Hi , thank you. So yeah, this will be interesting, Matthew and Matthew, but first let's, let's dive into you just yours and my relationship because we actually went the therapy route to help with our relationship because it was off track. Um, we didn't really need a mediator cause I wasn't mediator, but as many people know I can get in my own way and even professionals can get in their own way and need someone else professionally to do it. So we sought out , um, an actual therapist to help us. So, you know, you and I were having issues, right?

Matthew:

Yeah. The issues were getting pretty bad. Um , talking was very limited if we ever did communicate, it became a screaming match of who was right, who was wrong. And ultimately we both shut down and try to put it past us and run into the same problem week later.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, and , and I know that, you know, it got to a point where talking was difficult. So we, then we decided, well, we're just going to put it in writing in text, but that didn't help. That got even worse because then you could go back and read it over and over again and just stew on it, right? Yeah ,

Matthew:

Yeah. Text wasn't the best route either because yeah. You could go back, look at it and say, well, you said this and you said that and maybe you never meant it. And then the worst part was, you know, can't convey emotion over texts . So emotional [inaudible] , but it's not the same. It's the same. As, you know, you read the, you look at the text and you're like, well, if this is how I feels , thinking you're mad where you may not be mad in that text and I'm going to view it as well. You're mad at me, you're upset at me. Um, and then it just turns into an argument over texts , which never really ends well.

Matthew Brickman:

Well, and a lot of it , um, a lot of it from my point of view, so I'll share my point of view. And then I want your point of view. My point of view was, you know, I was a father, you're an adult, you know, you're an adult, you know, you were over 18, but you're still always my child. And so, you know, I would, I would, from my point of view, I was given you advice. But from your point of view, how were you taking it

Matthew:

From my point of view? Like you said, being the adult, your adult child , um, came from more of having a parent feeling like my parents not letting me grow up more. So still being treated as a child, not as an adult, not as, as someone who's trying to grow up , um, and just felt really shut down because I always felt like I was just gonna always be that kid. Well ,

Matthew Brickman:

And , and, and I know that I tried it repeatedly and in therapy we learn this, but even when I would say, Hey, I'm not the boss of you. I'm not telling you what to do. Even, even though I would say that you were still feeling as all , I was still dictating you and telling you what to do. It didn't matter that I was saying that I wasn't doing it. You were still feeling that, right?

Matthew:

Yeah. So, I mean, it's just, like I said, it came from the point of, it just always felt like I'm parent your child. So where you might've been trying to suggest it just came more across in a child aspect of, well, my parents just going to keep seeing me as a child and not as an adult.

Matthew Brickman:

And that was something that when we did go to therapy that , um, that the therapist did help us with because , um, he had suggested, you know, for me, he had called me out. Um, as the parent going, look, you need to start talking to Matthew, don't talk down to Matthew. And then he, I remember he had suggested to you don't take everything offensive. Like I, you know, the reason why I'm telling you is because I care if I didn't care and didn't tell you anything, I'd really be just not the greatest parent in the world, but it really, there , there was still some underlying feelings and issues that we had to deal with because when we were communicating, we were still defensive.

Matthew:

Yeah. Cause it all stems. We all, we went to therapy thinking that it was, you know, just, well , we just were having issues, communication. Um, and then as we went through it to kind of broaden out that it, wasn't just one reason, it stemmed from this, that stemmed from that. And it stemmed from this to get to the whole root of, okay, where's all this, you know, fighting coming from because , you know, one day it could be, you know, a fight over relationship, a fight over money, a fight over job, but then it's really okay. Is the job really the issue? No . Is the money really an issue? No. And bottom line get to the root of what's causing the problem in the first place, because a lot of the times where you take it out and the different areas of that person's life, instead of whereas actually coming from.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. And, and , um, and we're going to get to it a moment. But when I sat down with, you know , you and your mom, when you guys asked for my help with your relationship, the way that I had equated to you was similar. How you and I had learned in therapy was many people are just identifying, like you said, the money, the relationship, the work that's basically like the fruit that hangs on the tree and people just pull the fruit off. And they're like, this is rotten fruit. And that is rotten fruit instead of going, okay, why is the tree producing rotten fruit? Let's get to the root of the problem. And that was really what our therapists did help us do was, was for us to stop being defensive and open up. I remember , um, a lot of our issues were surrounded , uh , surrounded money. And you would, you would reach out to me really only when you needed money. And I felt then resentful. I felt like I was just an ATM and you didn't care about a relationship. You just cared about money. So then I would lecture you and then you would stop calling and we started this vicious cycle and then you wouldn't call, well, then when you did call every now and then I felt like, oh my gosh, it's my opportunity to pour into my son and to help him and to share my, you know, all of the things that I've learned in life. Can I get 20 bucks? Yeah. And then, but, but , but then you would take it as stop lecturing me, but I felt like, look, it's the only time I get to lecture because you finally did call. And I remember that, that, you know, we sat down with our therapist. He said, you know, for you call didn't, don't just ask for money. You just reach out and call the more you call. Well , then I'm not going to have these gaps in between our relationship where then I feel like I need to lecture. And so he gave us some homework assignments and we started to do it. And it actually worked where, you know, you would call and be like, Hey, just seeing how your day is going . Didn't ask for anything, didn't need anything. And you know what, I wasn't lecturing either, you know, but we had to get to the underlying root problem between the two of us to help our communication. Um, and we had a , what was it ? Three sessions, four sessions, I think four sessions , four sessions. I mean, it wasn't like, it was, I mean, this was not an ongoing, like we're in therapy for a year. And actually it was interesting. I remember he, our therapists actually discharged us. He actually said , um, I think I've taken you guys as far as I can take you, you guys have the tools, just put it into practice, which I appreciate because some therapists will just run the clock and they'll be like, alright , you need to come back. You know , cause they're looking for a boat payment, a car payment, another issue after issue. Exactly. As opposed to our therapist who was really good , um, was looking to actually help us and give us the tools to help us, not just continually bill us and bill us. And so, you know , there's only four sessions. He was able to get to the root of the problem. But I think a lot of it too was you were open and I was open to actually dig deep, do the homework, look inside of ourselves and say, what role did I, you know, whereas before I was pointing my finger at you, you were pointing your finger at me . And of course you were feeling, you know, disrespected, disenfranchised, you know, dismissed as I didn't care. And of course, you know, as I've said on previous podcasts, that is the root of most conflict is when people feel that. So fast forward, that was summer of 2020 when we finally went. Um, and did that, and it is now, you know , um , almost fourth quarter of 2021. Um, w how would you say our relationship has, has been

Matthew:

It's a lot better than it was, I would say easily 120 times better than it was back in 2020, because , you know, yeah. We were barely communicating when we were, it was either lecture or an argument. It was toxic. It wasn't, you know, but you know, like the, like our therapist helped us to both realize, you know, at the end of the day, I wanted to make sure that our relationship wasn't lost. You wanted to make sure your relationship with me, wasn't lost. You know, we had the same thing. It was just, how do we know, how do we get there? We were on different. We were trying to take our tasks to get to the same destination instead of finding a path that meets and carrying on together. And I feel like that's what we've done since therapy up to now, because, you know, we spend more time together. We communicate a lot better about what's going on in one another's lives, how our days are going, whether it's work relationships, budgets, money, you know, we can actually now have these conversations and it not be where you're lecturing me you're and turn into just an argument where I go my way you go your way. And we meet up and another two months to see if we can figure it out from there.

Matthew Brickman:

And , and, and I'll tell you, it is an ongoing for the parents out there listening, you know, it is an ongoing , um, intentionality that I have making sure that I'm using the right words, not lecturing, because I don't want to push you into that direction. And it's so easy as a parent, because look, you'll be 40 . And you know, I, you know, I'll be in my sixties and you know what, you'll still always be my child, but I can't treat you like a child. I need to treat you like an adult. And so, you know, it is advice. It's not dictation to you, but I've got to be very aware of, you know, our, you know, the content or the context of the content that we're talking about, because it depends on how you're going to receive it. I do remember, and I want to go onto then more recently, I do the remember, you know, just like I had in that one , uh, Q and a with the podcast was how do you actually even approach it? And I remember approaching you going luck . You know, my relationship with my wife is fine. My relationship with your sister is five . My relation, you know, all of my work is fine. You know, this is not fine. You are a priority. I will do anything. I will spend anything. I will sacrifice because you're a priority. I remember at the beginning, you didn't want to go to therapy. And I said, let's go to therapy. And you said, no. And I'm like, but you're a priority. Eventually you came around. Um, and , and, and I say, eventually it took about a week or so. It wasn't like months, but I w I tried the, the hardest, most sincere way possible to make sure that you understood that you were a priority because there was no legal document that said that you had to go, there's no court order that says you had to go. Like, so, I mean, how was that? Like, why did you finally say, okay, was it something that I said, was it that you finally realized, or,

Matthew:

Well, you know, sending for about that week, that it took me , um, to decide, you know what, let's, let's go try therapy. See if our therapists that we've known can help fix our relationship came about because, you know, just sitting and honestly talking to family members, talking to some friends, mentors in my life, whatever, at the time it was, you know, I came to a realization that, you know, I wanted to make sure that years down the road, I had a relationship with you and wanted to make sure that and realize I was like, okay, well, he's making me a priority because if he's taking time where he could book, instead of going to a session book, a mediation, booked something and make, make money. He's not making, he's not going to make money. He's going to take time out of his life and his work schedule to make time for me. And I saw, I was like, well, he's making the effort. Well, maybe I need to make some effort to, and meet them half way . And I was like, let's give therapy a shot, because like I said earlier, me and you were on the same page about, I wanted my relationship with you to be strong. Again, you wanted your relationship with me to be strong again and figure out how we can get there and not do the two steps forward one step back, but continually moving forward, working on our relationship as father and son and growing it and not having stuff set us back, you know , because I didn't want to end up back in therapy, you know, months later, because at that point it's like, okay, here we go again. You know what? I want to continue that vicious cycle. So I was like, he's making me a priority. I'm going to show my dad. He's a priority in my life. Yeah.

Matthew Brickman:

So, so then let's fast forward to present. Um, so two weeks ago , um , almost two weeks ago , um, well, let's just back up. You, you moved into your mother's house when you were 18. Um , you're going to be 24 this year and you've been living there and I get calls all the time from you and her through the years going, oh my gosh, like, you know, there's this issue and that issue and this issue and that issue. And I get to your mother, my response is not my circus, not my monkey. You know, like you're over 18. You're no longer in my house. Like, you know , and I tell her, I don't have the power and authority to tell him what to do. Like that , that's what we learned in therapy. I just like, I'm not the boss of you, but she's constantly was constantly asking for help. And I know that you guys have been clashing and it finally hits a really severe head actually on my birthday. Um, so talk about like what led up to that and how then , um, you know, everything just came to a head and then we'll talk about, okay, then how did we, how did you start on a path to fix that relation ?

Matthew:

So, yeah, I mean, like you said, I moved in when I was 18, but I went the proper route. I mean , you sat down, I asked my mom, you had your stipulations, we follow the stipulations and took them because they're ,

Matthew Brickman:

As you were 18 and still in high school. So technically you were still underwriting

Matthew:

Parenting plans

Matthew Brickman:

That we had. And so when you wanted to go there, I was like, okay, fine. But you, you know, your mom's got to follow rules, you've got to follow the rules or whatnot. If I'm going, you know , if we're going to deviate the entire living arrangement from our court ordered parenting plan, which we did, we sat down, made the rules and everybody followed those rules until you graduated from high school being that we sat down and redid them. And that was fine. But then you've been out of high school for a number of years and, but still having issues.

Matthew:

Yeah. So, I mean, when I went to live there, things were great. I was happy. Cause I was like, okay, I didn't do nothing that ruined my relationship with you at the time. And I was like, I felt good cause I did it the right way. And for years, you know, growing up, living with you, you know, me and Cassie were always asking, can we go live with mom? Can we go live with mom for a bit?

Matthew Brickman:

And Cassie and I have already done an episode for those listeners that are, want to go back, go and listen to the episode I did with my daughter about, you know, when , when, when Matthew saying he did it right or did it different , uh, go back and listen to the episode with my daughter and I of how it all went down wrong. And Matthew was in the house watching this all go down and he did it completely opposite. So when he's saying he did it differently or did it right, that'll give you, give you some context if you go back and listen to that episode where I talk with my daughter about us being estranged for a year. So, so continue to, so

Matthew:

Yeah, I mean strange our relationship. Um, so I went about the right way, went to go live with mom. Um, things were great for probably a good maybe year or two , um, through the rest, at least through the rest of high school. Um, through the few months that I went to trade school, even though I wasn't living at home , um, things were good between everyone. Um, then obviously I had kind of finished. So I moved back home to mom's house, not your house. Um, and things seemed great. I moved back in, I had my room still. It was nice. Um, and then I guess as the years progressed and I jumped between jobs and changed my job profession changed the goals I had set for my life and everything was kind of in limbo, so to speak because I didn't know what I wanted to do, not doing what I want to do. Job wise. I didn't know who I wanted to be with. I didn't know , um, where I wanted my life to go. So I feel like that alone kind of cop started causing the tension between , um , me and mom is cause as a mom, she just wanted me to have a plan and a future for myself that didn't involve me going all over the place. So, you know, I was like I said, I was jumping jobs. Then I finally got set in a job. I liked , um, the year that me and you went to therapy. Um, I ended up out of that job. And as I was not working, not paying rent anymore because I wasn't making money to pay rent. I feel like that's her right . Paying her rent started. That's where some of the problems started coming up is cause I was helping before. And when I lost that job, I really got into my own head and a lot of stuff stopped. I stopped doing stuff that I promised her I'd do. And she got us , started having a whole bunch of conflict and then it finally hit a head . It boiled over, like you said, that two weeks ago tastes 21st. So yeah, about 10 days ago , um, it really came to a boiling head , um, on your birthday. Um, I honestly thought that day that I was going to leave , um, didn't know where I was going to go. They didn't have any money to go anywhere. I just, I hit my break point. I was about to just pack my car up with whatever I could fit in it and stay in my car and go find somewhere to stay. Um, cause I just didn't want to do it anymore. And a lot of it started stemming from like me and you used to have our issues with where we weren't ever going to the root of the problem. We were going to put the app, the fruits of the tree, you know , um, my relationship would get dragged into it, into the arguments, my job bills , life goals, life goals, whatever the case might've been. Um, and it, it popped it, everything, just everything bottled up, which was the worst thing anyone can do , um, bottle up, any kind of emotions, any kind of animosity towards one another, instead of talking out the problems, you bottle it up and put it on the shelf and you're like, well, it's there. It's not it's it's fine. And my shelf got full. My shelf broke and things got probably the worst I've ever had with any of my parents, even my dad's and mine relationship never got to this point , um, where my mom was probably at the point of not wanting to do have anything to do with me anymore. I was at the point where I wasn't going to have anything to do with her anymore. Um, and mentally at the time when we were fighting, I was okay with it. But I know at the end of the day that if that would've been the case down the road, I would have had deeper grep for the whole situation. Because a lot of the stuff we were finding about where the fruit and a lot of it was second world problems, you know, it wasn't major stuff. We just never got to the root of the issues. So we were just going back to, well, this bed, this fruit's bad, this fruit's bad. Yeah .

Matthew Brickman:

And you guys, and you guys spent a lot of time attacking each other, not coming together and attack it . The problem.

Matthew:

Yeah. We were always at each other's throats , it was basically tit for tat every time we would fight you don't pay this. Yeah. Well I pay this and it was just trying to one up each other in a fight. And I get, I become a brick wall when we fight. So you might as well be talking to a brick wall because it's, nothing's going to come through

Matthew Brickman:

And it's sort of in our nature because we are breakfast . We are the brick mail . So it's like talking to a brick wall sometimes. So , so then, so then you got both you and your mom reached out to me , um, and wanted to, wanted me to come in and intervene and help the two of you , um, try to figure out your relationship. So I remember that, you know, I talked about that. He said, look, you know, this is a controlled burn. And for those of you that have listened to the podcast, you guys know what the controlled burn is. And so I told both his mom and Matthew, I said, we need a neutral place. We are not doing a controlled burn in my house. We cannot do it at your house, but we also don't want a public place where they can call the cops to kick us out of . So , um, Matthew chose a park. And so , um, the three of us met and we, we, I mean, you guys burned it down three hours, three hours of , um , now, now the first exercise you guys had the , um, the first exercise, I'll just tell the listeners and you can tell me what, what, what you thought about it in, in hindsight. So the first exercise I did is I gave them a piece of paper that said, okay, what will you gain by fighting what you gain by compromising and coming to a resolution? What will you lose by fighting? And what could you possibly lose by , um , coming to a resolution? And so I gave that to both of them so that they could actually turn off their emotions, turn on their brains and their , and the logical side of, of how they're going to communicate and see if they're even on the same page or reaching for the same goal. And surprisingly enough, you know, when you guys were done, I had you guys exchange and they'd read out loud what each of you wrote. Um, and both of you were almost identical. I mean, it was, it was neat that both of you had the similar goal, which was, you cared about the relationship you wanted to fix. It preserve the long-term relationship.

Matthew:

Yeah. Cause you know, family at the end of the day , um, is absolutely crucial. Um, as a child, as you know, any kind of family related stuff, you know, you don't want discord between you and a parent because in the long run, it's going to hurt you more than help you. It's going to hurt both of you, you know, cause a parents definitely doesn't, doesn't not want to have a relationship with their child,

Matthew Brickman:

No surprise . Then I deal with it sometimes where there's just a father or even mothers that are completely Mia. I don't understand it. Uh, but you know, there are the ones out there, but of course that's just not good. Especially from a child's point of view that no , I mean, totally destructive.

Matthew:

It's destructive it's it affects us a lot. Um, you know, a lot of my problems then from when you mom got divorced, when I was six

Matthew Brickman:

And spent 12 years fighting 12

Matthew:

Years fighting guns, just living through all that kind of chaos and whatnot. And so watching it over the years, the biggest reason, you know, I've run into conflict with you and I've run into conflict with this. Mom is I really don't run into conflict. I kind of avoided at all cost structure. I try my best to, because watching it over the years and living through it all those years, I just don't want to live through it. So I try to sh that's where I shut down. I run off, I walk off, I do whatever I possibly can to avoid having to deal with the conflict. And that's where the whole bottling one's emotions comes in. And you know, my therapist told me you got to stop doing that.

Matthew Brickman:

So, so how was it? So, you know, in three hours when you and your mom and I sat down, you did not avoid conflict, you embraced it and ran right through it to the other side. Um, talk just a little bit about, you know, going through it. How did you feel?

Matthew:

I honestly thought I was not going to make it to three hours, let alone an hours worth.

Matthew Brickman:

I remember about two hours. I was like, okay, you guys have been doing this long enough. Maybe we just need to step away. And then you started in with her.

Matthew:

I am going through it . But you know, when we got there and me and mom sat down and I mean , me and her, didn't say a word. You weren't even looking at each other, looking

Matthew Brickman:

This time, I put you on the same side of the table on purpose because you know , I didn't want you guys on opposite sides of the table because that creates a me versus you mentality, opposed to both of you being on the same side, but then yeah, you guys weren't even looking at each other.

Matthew:

She would try to pap run my arm or rub my back. I didn't want to be touched. Don't touch off . Like , no . Um, and like I said, I didn't even give us, I didn't even think we're going to make an hour. You know? Um, I knew we were, when we read , when I reached out to you one asking for help, you know, I knew me and my mom were , I felt like we weren't beyond a therapist help. Um, I don't even think get therapists like me and you went to solve, we were way past that point. Well, I think because usually you go, when the problems start coming up to work out the problems before they get to that point, we were well past

Matthew Brickman:

Well. And I think, I think you guys, and I think I told you guys that, you know, therapy has its place mediation , um, or like what I did with YouTube facilitation has its place. Um, and then if you're under a certain age, of course the law has their place with you guys. Um, you guys needed a safe place, which is similar to therapy, but in therapy usually it's like, Hey Matthew, you know, kindly calmly, quietly, politely, respectfully tell your mom how you feel. Well, guess what kind polite, quiet, respectful may not be on the menu you guys needed to throw down, which is why I call it a controlled burn. You needed to get out those deep rooted feelings that you had bottled up and put on your shelf and the shelf broke, but you needed to do it in a controlled atmosphere. Um, with, with, with, with someone who could control the atmosphere. But it's not a therapy we weren't looking for like, okay, Matthew, you know, she didn't like when you were five, like, no, why are you what's going on with,

Matthew:

Which is crazy too, because you know, surprising picking the environment we picked to do a controlled burn. So like you said, we can let out those frustrations without really repercussions, you know, getting kicked out of somewhere, getting the cops called.

Matthew Brickman:

All right, we're just, I'm gonna , I'm gonna digress here. You and I, when you were still living in the huddle, you and I had , um, I would say a passionate argument, some would say a BA a Throwdown match, but the police were actually called you and I were at home and our neighbors heard us arguing called the police. And the police came to see if you were okay. And yeah , everything was fine, but we really got in it . So that's why the beginning of that, the cops got called on the two of us. I wanted a neutral place.

Matthew:

And surprisingly, I like that time where it was a super screaming match, trying to basically, again, I was a tit for tat time where it was back and forth. It wasn't communicating while we're trying to communicate. But surprisingly, unlike the past we'd sent me and her had been fighting, bleeding up to this was surprisingly. I was like, okay, well, you know, all week we were screaming and yelling and everything at each other, throwing everything. But when we were sitting, talking, it never got to a point where one of us got and started screaming at the other, yelling at the other. No one even ended up yelling. And I was surprised by that. Not , not, not to that, not to the extent that we were, where it was

Matthew Brickman:

Not to the , uh , I mean, maybe not to the extent where you guys were at the top of your lungs, screaming and then either slamming doors walking away or whatnot. Cause you couldn't it's cause we're all sitting there, but you guys were loud and passionate. I will put it

Matthew:

In the how to get across that. But , but you

Matthew Brickman:

Know what it needed to happen. That's why it's a controlled burn and I allowed it to happen. But then, you know, when it would go too far, then that's what I would then ask my exploratory questions. You guys would then have to stop think about it. It would get your emotions in check. So you guys got that out. We , we , we did three hours, but we didn't get any resolution. All we did was basically burn the forest down. We didn't do any resolutions,

Matthew:

Burn the forest down, nothing got replanted.

Matthew Brickman:

So then, so then I had suggested being that it was, I didn't want you guys to be agreeing to anything and drop any contracts or anything, you know, while you're tired and exhausted. I said, look , why don't you guys, you know, take a couple of days off, think about everything that was said. And then we all get together and I gave you guys some homework assignments , say, Hey, you know, go and, you know, write down whatever, whatever it is that you guys need to set rules on, set boundaries on, get parameters, get consequences for violation. You both write your own down, bring it back. We'll then compile all of it and negotiate all the terms. And so then you guys were like, okay, great. So you, that was on Sunday. I gave

Matthew:

The assignment.

Matthew Brickman:

Then Thursday, we met. Now we did go to a restaurant on Thursday because I knew that we weren't going to be needed to do a controlled burn and everything was fine. And it was just about negotiating the terms. And so we ended up, I think with 12 terms , uh , the things that you guys were arguing about basically like the fruit, right? Yeah . You know, the things you could , but you guys had taken care of the underlying issues, been able to talk, get out the emotions and you guys had the same common goal of, we want to work on the relationship. And so then how did you feel about setting up, you know, the rules and you know, all of the consequences. How did that , how did that, I mean, was that a

Matthew:

Good thing? The consequences part sucks. Cause no one likes no one likes consequences, but I mean, from a young age, you raised me in Cassie that in life, you're going to make your choices, your choices are going to either read the rewards or you're going to suffer the consequences,

Matthew Brickman:

The rewards or suffer consequences,

Matthew:

Make it any easier when you're sitting there and yet asked, okay. But what's the consequence if they don't do this. And it's like, oh, I don't like picking a con .

Matthew Brickman:

Okay . But, but let me ask you a question, isn't it empowering though, being able to set up your own consequences, opposed to somebody telling you what the consequences will get you to

Matthew:

Create your 100%. But it's like I said, it doesn't make it any easier. It's like, okay, well what's the consequence I'm going to put on myself and am I going to be able to live up to this? So I don't suffer my own consequence because at the end of the day, it's like, I'm putting this on myself. I might, as you know, and

Matthew Brickman:

I remember some of the different items, you know, what we ended up doing was we ended up creating each of the rules, but then we created individual consequences. Cause you can't just make a blanket consequence for everything. You know? Like the punishment has to fit the crime. Right? Yeah . And so we did negotiate.

Matthew:

I'm not going to take your piece of candy. You're going to take their eye .

Matthew Brickman:

Exactly. So, so , uh, but I do remember with one of the consequences, you are not happy with it. It , you just shut down, but your mother recognized your withdrawal and gently was able to have a conversation with you to say, okay, well what's wrong. Are you not liking it? Well, then let's negotiate it. And you came out of your shell.

Matthew:

The problem that came up, that when you asked about the consequence, instead of us sitting there figuring out together, mom jumped the gun on what the consequences would be. And it was like, well, aren't we here figuring this out together. But here you are putting the consequences for me yourself. Instead of asking me, well, what do you think the consequences should be? But you shut down. I shut down because I was like, well, she already spoke up and I'm like, well, what are we doing now? Cause here's my dad typing in. And I'm like, well, this is great.

Matthew Brickman:

But how did it make you feel that she recognized that and then came and met you where you were and then helped you both walk through it together.

Matthew:

It felt good. Cause she hadn't done that night . No. Um, a lot of the times the communication would go out the window, things would get taken out of context. And I mean like any person in this world, you know, we are human beings. We say things we don't necessarily mean. So you know, some of the stuff she would say, she never meant it that way. But in context it got taken that way. So, you know, when she said this stipulation, yeah. I went, I fell back on my safety mechanism, which was, I just blocked it out. Like it just shut down was like, okay, this is great. But this sucks at the same time. Because again, like going back to earlier, no, I think the biggest issue that you know that me and you would run into a me mom ran into that led us to this in the first place was, you know, being, not really talking about it, but more so just I'm I'm child, your mother, father, your child, what I say goes, and that's where as an adult child, it's hard because it's like, you want to branch out on your own. You want to be able to make your choices in life , um, and reap the rewards and consequences for those choices, with some guidance from your parents. Sure . But not where it feels like it was your parents taking complete control over your life. Sure . And when mom had made that decision, it just felt like, okay, now I feel like that was where we were going two steps forward at the time and taking a step back. Cause I felt like we're making progress. And now you're telling me now you're putting the stipulation on me instead of communicating with me to come to, you know, one that we can both agree on. So it wasn't until you got up and walked away and moms saw and read and asked me, she liked, so you really don't like this. Huh? And I was like, no, I was like, I don't grade this one bit. And you know, we, after we talked and you came back and came to the resolution and at that point it felt a lot better. It felt like I was able to breathe because I was able to unblock myself from those situation we were going through. They'd be able to finish going through it as a unit because it felt like cool, mom's taken , you know, my opinion into consideration as an adult, instead of just saying, well, I'm on your mother, you're living in my room under my roof. I'm going to set your rules.

Matthew Brickman:

Well. And so I think , um, you know, as , as, as we wind this down, I think one of the greatest lessons that I think anybody can actually learn , um, if you haven't listened to the podcast episode where we talk about bus rider, bus driver, and we talk about the rain scenario, go and listen to that because , um, as you're, as you're talking Matthew so much of it, like when you avoided the conflict and you're like, I'm avoiding the conflict and you shut down, well, then it can feel as though it's a mother, child, or father, child relationship. When you embrace the conflict and say, okay, I'm not going to run from this. I'm going to deal with this and find your voice and use your voice. Well, then negotiations can take place. And so I think a lot of it is that if people would not run from conflict, but embrace it and learn, I told this to you over and over again, learn how use conflict to your advantage. You don't use conflict to take advantage, but you use it to your advantage. You can actually achieve peace, get hope, and be able to, you know, create a world where you can breathe. You're like, okay, I can breathe. There's a future. My relationship is good. And you know , um, and you know, you now have more tools that as you know, conflicts are still gonna come they're , you know, they're going to come. Whether it's with me, whether it's with your mom, whether it's with a future spouse, whether it's between you as a father and your own kids one day you were , but you know what, you're gaining tools. And those are the tools that I'm hoping that our listeners can also gain and learn from our experiences. You know, our mess ups can then create a world where they have tools without having to suffer the same consequences and go through it. Like we have

Matthew:

100% and you know, for all the other adult children, you know, that whether you listened to this with your parents or not, you know, it does help understanding and accepting your parents' suggestions in your life because my dad's not wrong. My mom wasn't wrong. They do just want the best for me. Um, and I always took things the wrong way. And that's where a lot of the problems came up is I didn't see them as wanting my best interests at heart. And sometimes it might not seem that way, but always be open to suggestions , um, more than anything because as a parent, I know my dad, I know my mom's never gonna do something. That's gonna stare me down a path that's doomed to fail.

Matthew Brickman:

All right. Well, thank you Matthew, for joining us on this episode and we'll talk to you next time, occasional Occasionally Sydney and I will be releasing Q & A bonus episodes where we will answer questions and give you a personal shout out.

Sydney Mitchell:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us at info@ichatmediation.com that's info@ichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show.

Matthew Brickman:

For more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me, either in person or using my iChatMediation Virtual Platform built by Cisco Communications. Visit me online at www.iMediateInc.com. Call me at 561-262-9121, Toll-Free at 877-822-1479 or email me at MBrickman@iChatMediation.com.