Transformational Relationships vs. Transactional Relationships

Hello Friends!!

Today is the last day of school for my kids and we are feeling so thankful for summer!!!  

As I am anticipating more time with my kids and my summer goal of being more connected/present with them, my thoughts keep returning to a concept I learned a few months ago.  In my  preparations for speaking at a Mother/Daughter retreat, I came across the principle of creating transformational relationships vs. transactional relationships.  On this last Thursday of May, I am so thankful for the framework, that striving to achieve transformational relationships gives me for interacting with my teenage kids and fulfilling my role as their “Mom”.

Transactional relationships are concerned with behaviors, perceptions, accomplishments and performance.  In a transactional relationship we keep score and have a tendency to make our love contingent on certain behaviors.  It is an attitude of, “My house, my rules. My way or the highway”.  In transactional relationships, there’s a perception of “It’s my right/duty/obligation to fix your performance/outcomes/behaviors”, which makes our kids feel their emotions and opinions don’t matter.  It builds resentment and rebellion.  Many times the task/behavior/performance becomes more important than the person. 

Transformational relationships are created when we let go of the outcomes and focus on the heart. Mother Teresa said, “Intense love doesn’t measure, it just gives.” When building a transformational relationship, the task or behavior may not get done how we had hoped, and it may not look good in the process, but the unconditional love is the paramount piece.  In a transformational relationship, we let go of control and accept the other person, regardless of what they are doing.  We maintain high standards but focus on compassion, understanding and connecting by living from mantras like: “Get curious not furious”; ”Get fascinated not frustrated”; and “Understand, don’t reprimand”.  With transformational relationships, when your teenager deserves your love the least, is when they need it the MOST, and it is freely given despite the challenging situation. Transformational relationships allow our teenagers to own their journey.  We trust them to figure it out using their process, recognizing that mistakes are necessary, not negative.  Transformational relationships understand that our kids will mess up, in the exact way they need to, in order to grow. Nothing has gone wrong.  This allows us to tarry with each child, holding space for them and allowing them to have whatever emotions they need to have, without stepping in to fix or solve it for them. Transformational relationships ask, don’t assume, are careful not crushing, and work on connecting before correcting. In this way we follow the wise counsel, “Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” These relationships believe the best in others, focus on their +50, live from abundance, and instill our faith in them, letting them know they are worthy and good enough. In this type of relationship, our high schooler knows, “If I had to choose between a million dollars and you, I’d choose YOU every single time!!”  The reason these relationships are transformational is because they inspire transformational changes in behaviors. As Jeffery Holland put it, “If you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow.”  By establishing this type of genuine relationship, our prickly teenagers will soften and be drawn to us.  Over time, transformational relationships eventually open them to our influence, where they want to do things according to our vision because of the genuine love of our strong relationship.  Jesus Christ is the master of creating transformational relationships.  May we be like Him as we strive to create transformational relationships this summer!

I’m thankful for this expanded  understanding about relationships and pray my relationships with all those important people in my life will be transformational.

Gratefully yours,

Candice Noss