Lectures That Actually Work
Universal Fantasy Dictionary
The other day, I got into a particularly brutal argument with my teen. I lectured. She told me I was wrong and why she knew better. We both stormed off to bed fuming.
I’m here to tell you, all those 1980’s sitcoms were a straight-up LIE.
There was no pre-bedtime reconciliation where we both sat down and talked it out for five minutes before hugging each other good night. She got no words of understanding from me, and I’m still waiting for my late 1900s family sitcom “I’m sorry, Mom, you were totally right” moment.
I now realize there were almost zero moms at sitcom writing tables back in the day. And many of the dads writing those Special Moment scenes worked 10+ hour days, which meant they barely had time for dinner, much less the dispensing of calm, level-headed advice.
Arguments like the one I had with my daughter happen across America every single day—often right before bed. To the point, I’ve tried and often failed to implement a No Big Discussions or Requests After 8 PM policy.
The truth is, we’re both tired at that time of night, and that makes us more likely to argue. But one thing is pretty certain at any time of the day. If I launch into a lecture when emotions are running high, it will not work.
The only thing that always works in these situations is listening to and validating each other—not strident speeches designed to impart a lesson.
But, man oh man, do parents across America wish the opposite were true. And that’s the basic foundation of Lectures That Actually Work Butter.