Drew Barrymore, in her book Wildflower, said,
“Right now you need my strength, not my worry.”
Great quote! That sentiment works perfectly for every situation in parenting, well almost all situations.
When kids are sick, or something is wrong, we all worry. But even then, maybe especially then, your kids need your strength, not your worry.
When you’re coming from a place of strength you’re able to feel your intuition, your love, your empathy. You’re more capable of finding solutions that fit the moment.
When you come from a place of worry, you’re so uncomfortable that you become short tempered, ready to pounce at a moments notice. The worry rules you, and causes you to try and release it as quickly as possible. The worry makes you hyper-aware and laser focused. Anything that disturbs your hyper-focus on worrying unconsciously becomes fuel so you can react and release the fear as soon as possible.
How does this affect daily life with kids?
Every day development causes new experiences for a child. Every day produces something new they may react to, or some new challenge they need in order to learn. Development can also make kids emotionally overwhelmed.
When kids misbehave or are emotionally overwhelmed they don’t need you to be angry, yell, or argue, they need your strength. They don’t need your worry either.
“They need you to be strong until they can find, and rely,
on their own strength to control themselves.” Sharon Silver
So how do you shift from worry to strength?
Become aware of what’s real, not what your worry has dreamed up. Worry is like an alien living inside of you, it only focuses on the horrible possibilities. The only way to manage it is to focus on reality, hope and truth. I know it sounds like Pollyanna thinking, but it’s actually not.
Speaking your truth always stops worry. And believe it or not, you can, and should, speak your truth with your kids, age appropriately of course.
Recently several moms talked about being determined to teach their kids about rules, manners, and lying. All worthy things parents have to address. However, what I noticed was that each mom said, “I am worried my kids will grow up and be rude, or grow up and become liars, so I have to stop them now.” The worry was the motivator, not the need to teach their child something.
Parents need to separate fear from the need to teach their child something. Your kids need you to believe that they can change, and that requires your strength, not your worry.
“Kids need you to be stronger than they are.
They need you to exude the confidence that they can change.” Sharon Silver
When you’re worried that your child’s current behavior will end up being the way they’ll be acting from now on, it feels like another layer of stress has been strapped on to your life, and that can easily trigger reactions.
When you come from a place of strength you understand that your kids are in the process of learning. You intuitively know that there is plenty of time to achieve the type of behavior you ultimately want for them. And that helps to stop reacting and yelling.
Misbehavior shows up so kids can learn from it. That’s why they call it childhood, not adulthood. Early childhood is the time in life when self-centered and shortsighted behavior arises. Your kids aren’t fully finished learning, not at all. They need time to learn layer by layer, repetition after repetition, whether we like it or not.
When you shift from worrying to strength you are helping to produce confidence and emotional intelligence inside your child. They trust that you have their back when they can’t control themselves. They trust in themselves because you’ve allowed them the time they need to find their emotional center, and their own strength to learn how to control themselves.
Leave a comment and let me know what your experiences have been.
Till next time.