As my kids are growing older, I am finding that I can't just kiss their bumped heads and send them on their way anymore. Their challenges are starting to get a little more....well....challenging. When they were babies, I read parenting books and interrogated friends about what they were doing to make sure their little ones felt heard. Now that I have a school-aged daughter, I feel like I can relax a little more, but then I get blind-sided by a problem she is having and I find myself flummoxed and just repeating something I heard as a child. I mean, I almost caught myself saying "just because everyone jumps off a bridge doesn't mean....."
This week, I am sharing a tool I used for myself that I realize I want my children to have. I think it will help me hear my daughters out instead of just dismissing their complaints with a "you-can-do-it" or a push to find something to be grateful about. Here's how I came to discover it: I reluctantly returned to a part-time job after being full-time with my family for the last year. At first, I really wanted to grouse on and on about how sad I was about the transition. And I was sad. Many people encouraged me to find the silver lining in it all, which I eventually was able to do. But my big discovery was that in order to get in gratitude about something that I did not like, I had to hit the release valve first and just let the disappointment of it come out for a while. I really saw how often I skip this crucial "release valve" step with my kids and just jump into optimism. Sometimes in order for us to find the silver lining, you first have to acknowledge the cloud it's attached to.
So, the next time your child comes to you with a challenge, use these printables to start the process of finding some LOVE for something they may not LIKE.
Click here to download a printable to get you through the clouds...
Click here to download a printable when you are ready for the silver lining
I think if we allow ourselves (and our kids) to sit with some tough emotions, we will find ourselves on a fast-track to being more at-peace with all that comes our way.