When your child is doing something that makes no sense to you, you make up a narrative to help make sense of it. Sometimes this story is helpful. Sometimes it’s not. We all do this. It happened to us when we were growing up, too—our parents made up stories about our behaviors.
Maybe you’ve had the experience of dreaming when you’re hearing a noise in real life and it becomes a part of your dream. Earlier this week, I dreamed I was on a cruise and I had a feast set before me. Right before I could take the first bite, I woke up and realized my night-owl 19-year-old chef son was cooking in the middle of the night (again) and it smelled heavenly. (I didn’t get to eat what he was cooking, by the way.) We also make up stories about our kids when we only have some of the information. It’s normal. We all do it.
The stories we make up, to fill in the details that we don’t have, can have a profound impact on our relationships.