I looked at my 16-year old daughter, Avery’s face, as she was finishing her quick breakfast before school – a frozen blueberry waffle with peanut butter and a cup of milk.
We had just had a sweet moment reminiscing about her 2-year old self and her love for milk...then and now.
I told her about a mom's night out where I attended an event and a nutritionist was the guest speaker. I remembered asking the nutrition guru if it was ok if my 2-year old daughter was more interested in consuming milk than actual food.
During our breakfast convo, I remembered my younger self along with picturing Avery as a teeny tiny little person.
Back then I was on a hunt for information. Was I doing it right? Was I providing adequate nutrition for my little girl? She was only in the 5th % on the growth charts. I was worried that I might be doing something wrong and she could be stunted because of my choices as a mother.
What if she was small because I wasn’t feeding her the correct way?
If I get really honest… back then, as I hunted for resources, I’m not sure if my intentions were 100% focused on the wellbeing of my kids or if I was looking for validation that I was making good choices as a mom.
Parenting is raw and real and vulnerable. We want it to come naturally. We want to get it right. We don’t want to mess things up.
And how often, do we unconsciously make things about us without realizing it? That validation that we’re not doing it wrong?
I looked at my daughter’s face this morning as she savored her last sip of milk, and noticed she looked a bit sullen. So I asked her if everything was okay?
She responded, “I’m just not excited about school today. It’s boring. I don’t feel like going.”
I asked her if she could apply the 3 B’s (a coaching tool I have taught many of you) or if there was anything she was looking forward to and could use to game-i-fy her day.
She quickly interrupted me, “No. There is absolutely nothing I want to do today. There is nothing to be excited about. Stop.”
My response, “Okay. Got it.”
14 years later, my older self knows that her life is really not about me. She is figuring it out. She wasn’t interested in my coaching tools and suggestions this morning…just like her body wasn’t really interested in the food I was offering when she was 2.
She has grown into a “normal sized” young woman. Her body is healthy and strong. She feeds herself beautifully.
She is a teenager. She doesn’t feel like going to school some mornings.
She pulls up her bootstraps and she goes anyway. Her mood has nothing to do with me.
I can choose NOT to take her behavior personally.
Making it about me would have looked something like, “I’m your mother and I will not be spoken to in that rude and disrespectful tone. I was just trying to be helpful. You ungrateful little @#$%!”
You get the gist.
That would have exacerbated her bad mood for the day. I would have added to the problem.
It’s hard enough being a kid these days.
As her mom, I don’t want to make it even harder by taking her bad mood personally and making it about me.
Her small size at 2 had nothing to do with the way I was feeding her.
She simply loved milk.
She still does.
Too bad she’s lactose intolerant.
New this week: I am having so much fun with my CPG Basics group. I am on a mission to help more of you go from simply consuming information to actually taking action and implementing the learning into your life. The following exercise is my gift to you. Feel free to reply to this email and share yours with me if it will help you take action and really do it. This is how you truly go from consumption of information to real legit action so you can improve your life!
Journaling/Brain Dump Prompt: Can you think of a time when you made your kid’s bad mood about you and accidentally took it personally? If you could go back in time how would you have handled it differently? See it through his eyes and write down what his point of view might have been?
ABOUT RANDI RUBENSTEIN
Randi helps parents, particularly ones with a strong willed kiddo, learn tools to raise confident, kind, and self motivated kids by improving the conversations in your family.
As the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast and author ofThe Parent Gap, Randi helps parents keep cool and replace old patterns. Randi’s parenting motto is, “When our thoughts grow, the convos in our home flow".
To learn more go to www.randirubenstein.com.