Question: What do these situations have in common?
- The three-year-old having a meltdown on the check out line at Target
- The seven-year-old who could put in more effort at school
- The eighteen-year-old high school senior looking at colleges
- They all create a certain amount of stress for parents
- They are NOT life threatening
- They ARE relationship threatening
What does that mean?
These situations become stressful because we sometimes care more about what other people think, and as a result let that influence the way we handle situations with our children.
Let’s reset the scenarios a bit:
Why is the three-year-old having a meltdown?
Did he nap? Is he hungry? Did you plan a marathon shopping day and this is the tail end of the six-hour trip? Did she see something the store put as an impulse item that they want?
The looks from other people on line do not matter!
All that does matter is your relationship with your child. The meltdown usually starts low and slowly, so you can plan your exit strategy, even if that means abandoning your shopping cart. Make the best decision you can given that set of circumstances.
The same could be said of the effort of a grade school child. You’re right to ask the child to do his/her best in school, and choose to be a good role model in terms of work ethic. But realize that education works best for those who are good at following rules. Don’t get stressed about your child not having straight A’s and instead be more concerned about their love of learning and ability to think for themselves. When family and friends ask how the kids are doing, it’s OK they are healthy and happy. You don’t have to ‘report’ on their report card as if it measures how well you’re doing as a parent.
The high school senior looking at colleges has more stress than he or she can handle. Don’t let the opinions or questions of caring and concerned family and friends add to that stress.
Think of the questions they are being asked:
- What college are you going to?
- What major are you choosing?
- What do you want to do for the rest of your life?
Really? Do those questions seem reasonable?
I would like to be the voice of all parents in response to family and friends and strangers with good intentions:
Thank you for your concern, now please mind your own business. Amen!
To see the patented Parental Wisdom® concept and multiple answers to these and other questions, you can learn more and become a member. It’s free and you are anonymous. It really is a better mousetrap.
p.s. This is the kind of advice you should share with your friends.
Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder