Stop and smell the roses
It seems as if children are just born to relish in their surroundings. The littlest things make them laugh and their wonder never ceases. The small things really are amazing and are incredibly important, yet as parents we dismiss them often. Too busy, stressed out, and exhausted. Losing sight of the beauty in the everyday can cloud our purpose and can cause you to feel like you’re always running in circles. In reality, there are less big things that we encounter in our lives than small things.
Taking notice of commonplace daily occurrences can fill our lives with memories that invoke a sense of nostalgia; like that longing to bottle up the feeling you get when you soak in that look on your kids face when they’re sleeping. You can’t help but smile and shed a sigh of relief. Relying only on the big things in life will prevent focus on the paths in between, and you’ll end up missing some good stuff.
Everything in moderation.
Kids these days! Remember when you would watch cartoons Saturday morning and be excited to see the toy commercials? It’s slightly different these days with social media, amazon prime, and Facebook ads popping up all the time. With more accessibility comes frequent cravings for a lot of stuff. The key is to instill values of patience and implement practice in less filling of instant gratification “needs.” Explaining the difference between needs, wants, wish lists, and goals, is a good starting point.
Agree to disagree
Your teen will thank you! Questions to ask yourself to approach this process. Think to yourself…1) Is my response going to make the situation worse or better? 2) Am I considering their perspective? What might my child be trying to convey? 3) Is this life changing? 4) What does my child need from me right now? Often times the need is to be heard, not lectured.
Make a long story short.
My daughter has recently started to roll her eyes, extremely frequently, and say, “Oh great, not another lecture.” Appalled and bewildered I pause to think, ‘I’m lecturing?’ I merely believe I am paving the way for my rolling eye child to make good choices. However, I quickly realize that she shuts down when my good intentions are perceived as ill attempts to control her life. Sometimes you have to swallow back the words. Not always, but sometimes defiantly yes.
Actions speak louder than words.
There’s a lesson here, a hard one. Kids sometimes act like their parents, and it’s not always pleasant. I shudder to think of the hard wiring I have already done. What’s important to remember here, is that it is never too late to start over, begin again, rewind, apologize, and try again, any time of the day, hour, or minute. Just keep trying to do the right thing.
Your guess is as good as mine.
No one really knows exactly what they’re doing, and every kid is different. Seriously. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that they’ve got this whole parenting thing figured out. Just. Isn’t. Possible. Truth be told that we’re all trying to do the best we can, and we might as well help each other out to make it a tad easier.
Andrea Picard, LCPC, ATR is a therapist at our Edison Park location. Andrea works with adults, families, teens, children, and moms/caregivers. Andrea’s specialties include art therapy, parent + child relationships, anger, addiction, and anxiety. If you’re interested in working with Andrea, send an email today!