Stop Thinking Everything You Do Is Wrong
Parenting is hard, we are inundated with parenting advice from every man and their dog daily… in the news, on social media, from other parents, or from overheard conversations in the grocery line. It’s no wonder that seeking out parenting advice, in general, can be a very overwhelming experience. So, an article in The New York Times brings up a single, inspiring piece of advice that can be universal to all concerned parents: Stop thinking everything you do is wrong. A survey conducted in the United States this year found that many adults feel that young people today face more hardships than they did when they were young. Particularly in terms of stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. This is an interesting reversal of the traditional dynamic, in which adults ‘recall the hardships and dangers of the old days and conclude that kids these days have it easy’, says paediatrician Dr Matthew M. Davis.
And yet the paradox is understandable…On the one hand, children are ‘cushioned, shielded [and] protected from the literal and figurative bumps and bruises of the real-world playground’. But on the other, kids are overscheduled, overstressed, and increasingly anxious. These challenges are often a result of trying to succeed in an increasingly competitive academic climate, with the hopes of gaining employment in an increasingly oversaturated job market. This contrast leads to a confusion of which parenting approach is best, and an inevitable and ongoing confusion of what kind of parenting style we should adopt.
Do you hover like helicopter parents to protect your children from the difficulties they face?
Or do you leave them to deal with everything on their own, in the hopes they’ll rise up to the challenge?
Most parents — including yourselves — rightly sit somewhere in the middle. But there’s always going to be times when unexpected challenges throw your parenting style off course. This is not a reflection of your parenting as much as a reflection of being human!
And from our point of view, the fact that you’re reading this article, or any article, shows that you’re not doing everything wrong. Investing the time and energy into researching advice is a testament to your commitment to being the best parent you can be. The point is: Congratulate yourself on trying to be the best parent you can be. Show your child what you believe is right and wrong by example. And when you slip up in one way or another, forgive yourself and move on, because it’s likely to happen again (and again and again).
TAKE A MOMENT, TAKE A BREATH.
Stress-Relief Mantra #3: All experiences are helping me grow.
How and when to recite this mantra: Recite this mantra four times either out loud or quietly to yourself as often as needed.
How this mantra can help you: This mantra is perfect to use when you are searching for answers to challenges that have come your way. Life is a journey of growth, and by acknowledging this, you can see the higher purpose in everything that happens. It may not always be easy to see exactly how you’ll grow from a particular situation but understanding that all experiences are contributing to your growth and development can be reassuring and can help you tackle things from a place of curiosity rather than despair. Viewing all experiences as opportunities to grow allows you to focus on the bigger picture and helps you avoid getting caught up in all the details. You’ll be able to take a step back and not put so much pressure on yourself to have everything figured out. You are here to learn, and part of that process requires you to go through experiences that are indeed challenging and confusing—but also ultimately joyful. The more you can approach life as a learning experience that you simply cannot fail at, the freer you will feel to explore things with a sense of adventure.
Melbourne Child Psychology (2019) A golden rule of parenting – Stop thinking everything you do is wrong. Retrieved from https://www.melbournechildpsychology.com.au/blog/a-golden-rule-of-parenting-stop-thinking-everything-you-do-is-wrong/
Happify. (2021). 4 Mantras for Instant Stress Relief. Retrieved from happify.