Attunement to the rescue!

A mother and her young adolescent son have had struggles throughout the day.  She feels sad and unresolved as she experiences their mutual avoidance.  She asks him if they can discuss how they have managed some of the conflict.  He is squirmy and her tension rises.  He peers at her through squinting eyes. She tries several approaches at convincing him that “communication is important.”  He stares through her and she realizes that there is something working against them.