Becky Talks: The Not-So-Fluffy Side of Parenting
At Stand Up Eight, our work with families begins when they’ve acknowledged something is not working or when they want to grow as a family, which are very brave things to acknowledge.
Even braver is when a family asks for help. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — we all need help sometimes, and asking for it is a huge step.
After working with a family for a while and developing a relationship with everyone, I experience the joy of understanding them better — their personalities, fears and tendencies. And I truly enjoy seeing how tendencies and fears begin to change over time into healthier behaviors.
With that rapport I also sometimes have to have hard conversations. Every now and then I find myself saying, “I know what I’m asking you to do is really hard, and I also know that for progress to happen, you have to do it.”
This is the not-so-fluffy side of parenting.
Sometimes kids need things from us when they don’t deserve it, and while that’s not fair, that’s how it goes. After your child hurts you over and over again, or when they seem to be the root of all conflict between siblings, or they purposefully break the rules, or maybe they just smell bad, they still really need you.
What’s really hard is even though we’re the adults, we’re still humans with emotions. When our kids bruise us and break us, it makes sense our first response isn’t to want to run and hug them, but…. I’m asking you to dig deep and find a way.
When your child does 37 things wrong in one day, I’m asking you tell her how thankful you are she did one thing right.
Or if you get into four arguments in one afternoon about your son’s screen time, and you have those same four arguments everyday of every week and you’re exhausted, he still needs a hug (or probably four) before he goes to sleep at night.
For the security and well-being of your child, put aside your own feelings and love on them even when you don’t feel like it. That time will come for all of us, if it hasn’t already.
So while you have the freedom to not feel like affirming or hugging your kid, you should do it anyway. We don’t do our best at our jobs when we’re afraid of getting in trouble, rather we do our best when we believe in ourselves because our authorities and peers have built us up with encouragement and affirmation.
The same is true for your kiddos.
They’re better and healthier when they feel good, not when they’re scared of what will happen if they’re bad. You don’t have to be parent of the year or Mary Poppins, but do a little better than you did yesterday. So go get ‘em, Mom and Dad! You got this.