Karen was about to race out the door when she could not find her keys. Of course, it didn’t help that she was already running a few minutes late. She quickly retraced her steps but they were nowhere to be found. Then, seeing the sad face of her two-year old instinctively told her he might have something to do with this. She bent down and calmly asked, “Do you know where Mommy’s keys are?” His deep brown eyes starred at the floor and he slightly nodded. After a brief interaction she discovered he did not want Mommy to go to work. So, how could she retrieve her keys without getting into a power struggle at the same time respect his feelings? And then an idea came to mind.

“Mommy wishes she didn’t have to go to work either because I would much rather stay home and tickle you.” (Tickling him while she is speaking). His giggles told her she was getting through to him. Then she said, “I want you to think about your favorite thing to do with Mommy. When I come home from work today, that’s what we will do, ok?” She gave him a big hug. “So, if you will show me where the keys are, I’ll hurry home from work as quickly as I can to play with you. It’s a deal, right? How about a Hi 5?” After a few more hugs, her little boy retrieves the keys and sheepishly hands them to her. She thanks him and reminds him, “Don’t forget the favorite thing we are going to do.”

That’s what stories are all about. They are about connecting. Karen’s circumstances may be different but we connect with the anxiety and stress created when things appear to be out of our control.

What you learn through addressing the conflict is what makes up the resolution of your story. A good story allows you to make a deeper connection.