Issue: Your kid has dyslexia.
Action: You find the best school/program/tools to provide resources that will teach her to read in a way that makes sense to her brain.
Issue: Your kid is anxious and doesn’t want to go to school, soccer practice, birthday parties or leave the house.
Action: You take him to doctors and therapists and even consider medication. You are determined to help him overcome the palpable panic he feels and possibly even experienced yourself at some point in your life.
Issue: Your child doesn’t get invited for playdates or sleepovers and you’re worried her self esteem is suffering as she spends her school days “observing the fun” rather than participating.
Action: You spend countless hours discussing this with your mom friends, reaching out and trying to make social plans for her, counseling your daughter about ways she could get included…eventually, you hire a therapist for her because she is angry, depressed and lonely and has stopped speaking to you.
Do any of these scenarios resonate with you? They all have a crucial factor in common.
Do you know what it is?
We love our kids more than anything. We go to the ends of the earth for them. We will spend countless hours, mind-space and invest large sums of money and time to solve their problems.
We will desperately seek solutions to fix their struggles.
Many folks contend that it’s the struggles that help you grow strong enough to deal with the hard stuff in life - death, illness, divorce, exclusion, learning differences, social difficulties, sadness...
And then there's the torturous years that takes no prisoners - MIDDLE SCHOOL.
None of us willingly invite these difficult experiences and we certainly don’t wish them upon our kids.
These times in our lives are often met with annoying phrases that well meaning people share with us when we are in crisis…
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; challenge builds resilience and kids with resilience accomplish great things in life; all grace and no grit does not a leader make.”
Ya, ya. We get it.
AND, it supremely sucks when we, or someone we love, draws a losing lottery ticket and one of these situations affects us.
When my son was little, someone gave him a cool “grow a butterfly” science project for his 6th bday.
I remember we waited for days for that butterfly to emerge from it’s chrysalis. We could actually see the butterfly wiggling around inside and trying to bust out. It even occurred to me to give it a little assistance in the form of a butter knife to the chrysalis.
Thank goodness I resisted.
I’ve now learned that if we had even gently ripped open that chrysalis, the butterfly would have died.
The butterfly requires the struggle to become strong enough to take flight.
I love using this butterfly metaphor to help parents understand the importance of our role with our kiddos when they are in struggle.
It pains us to see them suffering.
We want to take their pain away. We worry that what they are experiencing now will impact their future negatively and we often feel responsible to fix it for them.
What if our kid’s futures are less bright because of something we did or didn’t do right now?
This thought is hard to identify and wrap your head around and yet, it’s there… simmering just beneath the surface for many parents.
What is your role as a parent when your little butterfly is wiggling and trapped?
How do you support him in a way that helps HIM take flight?
I have remedies and solutions for you guys. I don’t know any other way to say it than…
Before you continue on this wild goose chase of support when your child faces the hard stuff, consider the fact that YOU may be the most valuable resource you are seeking for your child.
Of course, the specialized school, therapist, doctor and possibly medication are a part of the solution.
And with those resources alone, your child will most likely not learn to soar as high as possible.
When you invest in YOURSELF to learn tools and strategies to support your child through their struggles, you not only become the missing part of the solution for your kiddo…
You get to experience your own positive side effects like deeper connections with the people you love the most.
You will begin to truly soar in your own life like never before, alongside your child.
How much time and money are you investing in looking for the answers and solutions outside of yourself?
That is what I help parents do. I help you become your own solution. It is empowering and it will change multiple lives...your child’s, yours and beyond.
The communication tools and solutions are contagious. It is like the gift that keeps on giving.
But YOU have to want it for yourself. YOU are worth it and so are your kids.
As the missing puzzle piece, your role as a supportive resource comes with responsibility and effort.
I won't insult you by telling you it's easy.