A Mother’s Insight Helps Turn a Son’s Crisis into a Valuable Life Experience with a Positive Outcome

Sherry Young of Toronto sent BringSafetyHome.com her story that is such a beautiful example of a parent tuning into their child and collaborating on a solution to a workplace issue that could have been very damaging gone unchecked.

A Mother’s Insight Helps Turn a Son’s Crisis into a Valuable Life Experience with a Positive Outcome
By Sherry Young


My son worked part time in first and second year university at a company where he felt he could one day have his dream job. So, it was surprising and out of character when after a couple weeks of full time work during the summer he would come home looking exhausted and depressed. He would immediately go to his room where he’d fall asleep in his clothes, wake up to hastily eat dinner alone, before going back to bed for the night.

After a week of this, I sat down with him and asked how things were going at work. He said it was stressful. I asked what had changed to make it that way and he explained that someone had been let go and he had taken on their job. It was overwhelming him. He couldn’t keep up and was terrified that he was going to fail when he had been so successful until that point. We talked and I asked him what he thought about sitting down on the weekend and figuring out a plan together. He agreed. We sat down the next Saturday afternoon and I had him list all his responsibilities and all the tasks that were given to him in a typical day. He also wrote down how long each task took to complete and how he set his priorities.

After we sorted it all out, we figured out what a reasonable list of responsibilities and tasks should look like. We then came up with a script that he would use to talk to his boss. It detailed how he needed to reduce his workload and why. We role played many times so that he felt comfortable with his approach and the various directions the conversation could take.

We also did a pre-mortem, a great concept I learned from a TEDTalk. It enabled us to anticipate all the questions that he might be asked, and prepare him emotionally for different outcomes. This included the possibility that if he didn’t get the changes needed to make his work more manageable he could contain any possible emotional responses and respond calmly.

Thankfully, his conversation with his boss went well. His boss wasn’t aware that others were giving him tasks that didn’t belong to him. After this was rectified, his workday became manageable and he started to enjoy work again. It was rewarding as a parent to be an active part of this process and I believe he learned skills that he will use moving forward.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 13:59h, 24 July

    You must stay involved with your working children as I’m sure they fear losing their job even if they understand their rights.