Question: Often, people who live together for a long time actually don’t know each other. In the Integral method there is an exercise called “acquaintanceship,” when spouses begin to get to know each other again: The woman says how she sees her husband, and he says how he sees himself, and so on. When they compare this, they understand that they don’t know each other. Can such an exercise be used with a teenager?
Answer: This is a very practical and beneficial exercise, but it should be used gradually because it is very difficult for a person to exit himself and begin to perceive the world through another, especially the opposite of him. It is even more difficult for a child to engage in this process, because he always sees the parents communicating with each other on a purely domestic basis. Therefore, it is best not to join him in integral interactions when the parents discuss some common problems.
I know this on my own. My parents were doctors: my mother a gynecologist and my father a dentist. They often talked about professional issues. My mother engaged in research in her field and told my father about it, and I overheard.
As a boy, I was interested in the sexual and gynecological problems. Later, I would ask my mother questions on these topics, and she explained everything carefully. Later, this gave me a lot.
In such a way a child is shaped under the influence of those conversations and discussions that take place between the parents. The thing is not only in that he integrates in the professions of the parents, but he also integrates in the technology of communication between them.
Question: How should the parents act if during the discussions on family problems they see that the child eavesdrops on them?
Answer: Let him eavesdrop. Afterward, you can call him and explain what you talked about. By this you teach him about proper mutual cooperation, and later he will build his family in an identical way. We know on ourselves how much the stereotypes that we got from our parents influence on us: by seeing how they communicated between them, discussed all sorts of life situations, argued, and agreed with each other. All this accumulates and becomes a part of us.
You can intentionally wait for the child to return from school and deliberately start a conversation about some topic, discussing it in a nice way without fighting, attempting to find a common solution. Suppose you are talking in the kitchen, and he walks around listening to your conversation. You can even ask his opinion, pulling him casually into the discussion. And then gradually he will begin to express his desire to participate in the family discussions.
From KabTV’s “Conversations with Michael Laitman” 12/11/13