When life gets tough; reflect and redirect, if needed

Sometimes the shit hits the fan. We have bad days, get bad news, and bad things happen. This doesn’t mean it is the end of the world nor does it mean it is someone else’s fault. When bad things happen, it is a wake up call to reflect on our own behaviors, beliefs, or actions. I may also be a reminder that life is a series of ups and downs and we must learn to ride that wave. No one event defines us…we can all change. No one event destroys us…we are resilient.

Recently, we got “bad news”. News that made us upset, angry and scared. Once we sat and reflected on our part in this problem, we could start to move forward and develop a plan of action…a plan on how to make things better, how to BE better, and to re-set our priorities.  This is not a bad thing. If you ignore these warnings or try to place blame on others, things will only get worse. I promise they will. By accepting your part in an issue, you can start to make progress. It may take time but that first step is important.

We are here on earth to learn, to evolve, to find peace and happiness in a world that is in turmoil and to learn from our mistakes.  We are hear to find our path and our reason for being. You cannot learn about yourself if you are never challenged.

Parenthood is tough. There are no roadmaps or guidebooks. Why? Because each child is soooo inherently different. Each parent is different and comes with their own experiences and mental baggage. We make mistakes, our kids make mistakes. I think what’s important is to parent with love and awareness. You can be strict, you can have rules but they should be handled with love. Sometimes this is hard, especially when our children disappoint us or scare us…but they must know that they are loved. That their mistakes do not define them…everyone can change course.

I think it is also important to build their self-esteem and not say or do things that will ultimately destroy it. Recently I saw a mother on social media berate her child for doing something wrong in class and then proceeded to make him eat hot sauce. (mind you, he was young) The messages this mother is sending to her child are so damaging that I cried.  I think she thinks she is teaching him to behave in class, folllow the rules, and be good. What he is learning is that if he makes a mistake his mother will not love him, in fact, she will hurt him-emotionally and physically. What the kids feels is bad. He thinks “I am bad”. If he thinks he is bad, inherently bad and not worthy of his mothers love and understanding…he will behave badly…because he has already been told he is bad. His mother told him so and she would know, right? His self-esteem will plummet, he will not try anything for fear of making a mistake, and he will ultimately suffer in the long run. Why? because he goofed around in class. Big F’n Deal!

We all make mistakes. Some worse than others but mistakes nonetheless. What we need to teach our children and ourselves is how to correct our mistakes and move on from them. How do we change course? How do we make better decisions next time? Why did we make that mistake? Etc…

So I am not perfect, I am not a perfect parent, and I do not have perfect kids. But we are all evolving and I can work with that.  I can be better and so can my kids. Together, as a family, we can be closer, stronger, and more supportive.

Having a bad parenting day? Read “Get Out of My Life! But First Can You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?” by Anthony E. Wolf. Great book about parenting teens! Truly is a must read!!!!! If you are complaining about your teen/tween (and we all do)…read this and start moving forward.

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