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Mother vs. Son
When thinking of conflict, many think of violence or hate. Although, according to Wilmot and
Hocker, conflict is simply a “struggle over values and claims to scarce status, power, and resources in
which the aims of the opponents are to neutralize, injure, or eliminate the rivals” (Hocker & Wilmot,
pp.11). Conflict behaviors exist on a spectrum, ranging from mild to war (Hocker & Wilmot, pp.11).
Mild conflicts likely modeling a constructive conflict approach, chosen to bring a situation to another’s
attention, highlight a flaw to the relationship, and/or encourage change (Hocker & Wilmot, pp.21). While
on the other hand, a destructive conflict approach involves blaming and degrading a person, pointing
to all issues in mind, unconsciously avoiding the problem. Before one is educated on conflict resolution,
destructive conflict communication is often adopted by most. In this respect, the last few years, the
relationship between my Mother and I fits the description of a destructive conflict relationship.
In the family, parents are naturally invested with authority. As children, we have no knowledge of
right or wrong, polite or impolite, or how to perform different tasks. It is the parent’s responsibility to
teach the child, preparing children for independence. However, as people grow older, people grow
differently. Maturity an outcome of human development; perception transforming in the process.
Perception is said to be at the core of all conflicts (Hocker & Wilmot, pp.12). A relationship is
characterized in conflict when an expressed struggle over a goal (resource, power, or status) occurs.
My conflict relationship began when in high school, around the time of aging in to adulthood. At
this period in my life, there started to be less dependence on my Mother. Rarely would she transport me
places, hear me ask for money, nor listen to me ask for advice. In my eyes, “a person who is not
dependent upon another---that is, who has no special interest in what the other does---has no conflict with
that person” (Hocker & Wilmot, pp.13). In this case, Mother not filling the same duties as when younger
had no control over my mood or my perception of our relationship. In spite of this, my interpretation of
Our past interactions were fueled by me disobeying rules. Rule breaking being the norm of a
teenager, it is not unusual to hear this story. Though, as growing older, accompanied by eventually
moving away for college, there began to be less house rules to break. This is where my failure to realize
Raised as a single child, my Mother filled both the father and mother role. The obligation of a
single parent forcing a dual responsibility; fulfilling both a nurturer and a dictator role. What was hard to
grasp in my early childhood experiences, but it is becoming clear to me today, is difficult for parents to
let go of their children. On this note, it is challenging for parents to face reality, their child is no longer a
baby. Looking back at my Mother-son relationship, my Mother tends to engage in conflict behavior when
her role as a parent is denied. Whenever cooking meals, buying clothes, making decisions without her
consent, this is the triggering effect to our conflicts. Sometimes...
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