Updated: Jun 2, 2020
This week my son and I went to wish a friend a happy birthday, from a distance.
He took one look at their toys and with so much excitement asked "mama, is there something for me to play with?!"
Oh my heart.
I had to tell him no, we couldn’t do that right now because of the virus.
He seemed to understand and didn’t make much of it.
But I was heartbroken that he couldn’t play “normally” and just be a kid.
I realized the deeper thought that was causing my sadness was “I should fix the current situation so he can have a normal childhood.”
I think we all feel that way as parents on some level. We want to protect our kids from getting hurt and want them to feel happy all the time.
And it’s totally normal. The primitive part of our brain is designed to seek out pleasure and avoid pain and to do the same for our children.
But it’s impossible and doesn’t really serve them.
And it leaves you feeling powerless, stressed and anxious.
Here’s the truth: no human can ever avoid pain. Life is full of joy and pain.
The current situation and all the uncertainty, change and disappointment that it’s creating is a negative part life.
It’s an opportunity to teach our kids to embrace these parts of life instead of resisting them and create more emotional suffering for themselves.
And when we allow them to have the human experience, they learn and grow and gain emotional resilience.
They learn that emotions like fear and anxiety are normal and don’t need to be avoided with things like food and alcohol or Netflix.
They become resilient by being willing to feel any negative emotion without fearing it.
They learn to show up fully, take risks and fail their way to creating an extraordinary life.
And we learn the same in the process, growing along side them.
If you’d like some help managing the stressful parts of parenting, I’d love to help.
Reach out to schedule your FREE coaching session today: firstname.lastname@example.org