When they are throwing a tantrum. When they are sneaking out of the house. When they are making an enormous mess. When they are changing their major for the 14th time. When they lie. When they struggle to find their career. When they do any of the things that make you worried, make you concerned, make you pull your hair out, you have to understand…
It’s all normal. It’s all part of it.
We’ve been talking about Dr. Becky’s wonderful book Good Inside recently (a must read!), and she has a great little section where she’s talking about a parent who ends up having to pick up and physically remove their child from a situation where they are hitting their younger sibling. There’s guilt and frustration and fear and so much that comes up in these situations.
What do we do? Dr. Becky says we should tell ourselves, “I am doing my job of keeping my child safe. My child is doing their job of expressing feelings. We are both doing what we need to do. I can handle this.”
When we zoom out, we can see that our kids are being what they’re supposed to be…kids. They’re struggling. They’re testing boundaries. They’re getting overwhelmed. They’re being stupid. That’s their job. Our job? Part of the job of a parents all those big feelings that we’re getting from them–the concern, the doubt, the worry. But also calmly dealing with it as best we can, trying to hold firm with our love and affection, trying to keep them safe.
We can handle this. We can let them do their job while we do ours. We can get through this.