To keep up necessary open communications, teenagers and I have taken up texting. A lot of texting. Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans. We can have conversations that last the extent of my work day away, similarly to them coming to my home office, asking a question of me and then heading out with the answer (minus the loving hugs after). I find the benefits rewarding in that, they don't expect an immediate answer because I will wait till I am not with a client to respond. I can document that I did give them their list of chores by the text msgs sent and received history....so far we have not required that one, but knowing it is there creates truthful responses....the best bonus for a single mom is that I am kept in personal individual contact during the good, bad and the ugly lives of my beautiful teens and they can feel the security of where I am at all times.
The only major downfall is that texting can be impersonal. Shortened sentences can feel like quip responses. Emotional dilemas are best left for face to face conversations, at the appropriate time.....hence "the shut down"
I enjoy every type of personality as friends, family, aquaintances, co-workers....strangers. Knowing this, I encounter a multitude communication methodoligies within these multitudes of personalities. Somehow, I manage to respect their personal communication methodologies.....I respect those who talk a lot & I listen,....I respect those who talk a little but need to be listened to, I respect those who are bold & brag by not challenging their vision of their worlds.....as long as you are not harming anyone.....I respect when and how and what you wish to communicate.
The problem with "the shut down" is NOT that I will never give a response, because I do when it can be communicated on a mutually respectable level. The real problem with "the shut down" is that I am very often disrepected in that because my personal communication methodology will not examplify indignities, screaming or forcing my will on others and "the shut down" methodology or shall I call it "delayed" methodology completely infuriates those who would disrespect me with their indignities, screaming & forcing of will on others type of communications. Not simply infuriates, fuels the fires.
So here's the deal....I don't know a lot of "shut down" people. Most people I know like to jump into "the fray"....not that there is anything wrong with that (my Seinfeldian of the day) however, I choose not to. And I maintain a permanent strength in that position.
Show me a safety issue and my kids will attest to the fact that I will walk in, take over, fix it and walk out. Afterall I want you in my life tomorrow too! or I wouldn't have wanted you in my life today.
In my life I choose to be happy. Since I have made this conscious choice my heart has allowed an immediate response to the unhappiness I witness, as in children of Nampula Africa and after 20 years of being unable, I learned to cry again.
In my life I choose to be happy. I recognize great pains within my friends, my community & my world. If you choose to YOU CAN FIX IT. Even if it is within baby steps....a little at a time. Your heartfelt strengths will carry it into flights of leaps and bounds.
And you know what, life is hard! But like the true Irish Lassie my father raised to always find the twinkle in her eye.....so freakin what!!! ......a hot toddy, an random irish canter & a twinkle of leprechan mischief in your eye....over a "shut down" "time out" and You'll be bouncing back on the positive side of the green grass sooner than if you dig your own unhappy sorrow filled muddy hole and jump in.....V