The Next Time You Feel Overwhelmed
by Stephanie Elms
When we feel off kilter and have a lot of things going on that are out of our control, our natural instinct is to double down on things that we feel that we can control. For many of us, that often winds up being our kids. Of course, the idea that we truly control our kids is simply an illusion, although it feels very real.
Our kids can sense this. Both our disappointment in them and our expectation that their behavior is needed to fill a need we have. Some kids react by becoming more compliant. Some by becoming more resistant. Both are natural defense mechanisms.
When we are overwhelmed, we become fixated on “what needs to be fixed” regardless of whether it makes sense or not. We worry about things like our kids’ “work ethic” or “lack of motivation” when the reality is that their work ethic and motivation are developed over the long term and have crucial developmental components to it.
Kids naturally live more “in the moment” and just don’t have the bigger picture vantage that comes with maturity and experience. The good thing is that maturity and experience develop naturally. It is not dependent on us to “make” it happen. We can trust and allow it to unfold with our guidance.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, trust that your worry about your kids may be less about how they are truly doing in that moment and more about your own state of mind.
In these times, it is okay to let go of what you feel you have to do to “fix” things and simply focus on the reality of who your kids are.
Connect with them.
Have fun with them.
The rest will sort itself out. Honest.