Many of you already know this - I’m a parent, a stepparent, and even a grandparent. Yes, I’ve been parenting for a long...long...time! So much of what I have created with Game Plan Parenting came from putting a little distance between myself and all the things I could have done differently if I had known then what I know now. But since we can’t go back in time and do it all over again, and hindsight is 20/20, let me impart a little hindsight of my own with this love letter to my adult children...
To my Dear Kids & Stepkids,
If I were to look in the rear view mirror at our family over the years, I would probably notice a few more things than I did when I was in the moment, trying to figure it all out.
I would have noticed that when you were throwing what I thought was an outrageous tantrum, that you had some pretty big feelings going on at the time. I couldn’t see them, because I was caught up in thinking I needed to control you. I didn’t see how much you were hurting, or what you were trying to say.
I would have noticed that when you seemed to hate me, that you were grieving the family you thought you had and my presence reminded you that your mom and dad weren’t together anymore. I couldn’t see that because I was too wrapped up in my adult thinking that we WERE a family and forgot that you needed time to adjust.
I would have noticed that when you were furious with me as a teenager, that you were missing your dad and I couldn’t see that because I thought I could be both a mom and a dad to you. I forgot that you just needed me to be your mom.
And to myself...I would have noticed that I didn’t have to fix anything. You were and ARE perfect just as you are. I now know that what was missing was the simple act of witnessing. Witnessing you and witnessing me. No special formula, just a simple, peaceful action that has the power to change the trajectory of any relationship. Love always & forever, Mom/Mary Ann
Let’s face it folks - none of us is perfect and we mess up a lot! Bottom line, here are the things I hope you take away from this.
As parents, we need to be aware of what’s going on inside of ourselves and DEAL with our own stuff before we try to deal with our kids.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE SEEN! I’m not kidding - this is THE thing that makes all the difference. Don’t try to fix or make your own assumptions based on face value. Just being with one another is sometimes all it takes.
Maya Angelou said it best; “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”.
No regrets, my friends...no regrets. 💗
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