6 Mar 2018


Submitted by Raquel

You might be surprised to know that some of the best parenting advice I've ever heard came from the singer Pink. She wished that her mother had realized that her rebelling had nothing to do with her mom and everything to do with her just trying to figure herself out. It can be really hard not to take the things our kids do personally. Viewing my child's behavior in the moment through the lens of “right now is not about my feelings, it's about her” has helped me so much. I don't take it personally when she clearly states that “Daddy is her favorite” (I'm told I shouldn't worry about this because it will likely change to me in the next 30 to 40 years). I'm able to step back and enjoy that she has a great relationship with her father and trust that she feels safe enough with me to express that. To be clear, I'm not saying that our feelings as parents don't matter. I'm saying that it's important to not make her feel like she is responsible for taking care of me and my feelings. She needs to be a kid. She needs to be able to express her thoughts and not worry that I can't handle it. I can always find appropriate adults to talk to about my experiences, like my best friend and husband.


I'll admit that it's not always easy. When my normally well behaved 2 year old has a full blown meltdown in public for no apparent reason I can't help but fear that other parents will think I'm a bad mom. But then I remember to use the mantra “in this moment her acting out is not about my feelings, it's about her” and I'm able to shift to helping her. That could mean helping her figure out what's wrong and how to solve that problem. It could mean letting her safely tantrum if she is not able to get what she wants. That one is still hard for me. My mind tends to jump to the negative thought people will think it's a reflection of my flawed parenting. When that does happen I remind myself that when I see others in similar situations I'm not sitting there judging them. Most of the time I just want to go over, give them a hug, let them know I've been there too and that I heard it gets better in 30 to 40 years....