Our End of Year Doubt 😣Jun 21, 2022
The end of the school year comes with much excitement. I think it’s safe to say that students, parents and teachers are all excited at the thought the summer break and the change of schedule. Late night BBQ’s, less-stress mornings, the smell of suntan lotion, pool parties, the sound of the lawn mower. All Heaven.
(Editor’s Note: people who suffer from allergies do not think that the sound of a lawn mower is heaven.)
But, for many parents, as we look back at the year, we are faced with some other emotions too.
Many of us parents feel a Sense of Doubt. Did we do everything we can for our child? Should we have pushed him/her just a little bit harder? Should we have encouraged more play dates? Should we have allowed them to drop out of the league? Should we have switched their classes? Should we have called that psychiatrist? Reading specialist? Did we advocate enough? Were we too demanding? Were we as supportive as we needed to be? Were we too tough on them? Too distracted with our cell phone?
Sometimes I wish I could raise a child using one method, and if that doesn’t work quite like I expected, I’d love a second chance using a different method.
Doubt creeps up on us at difficult moments. The moments when life gets the better of us, when we’re physically and emotionally exhausted. Times when we hear our babies crying constantly, our three year olds say bathroom words in public, our six year olds saying “you’re the worst mommy/daddy,” our nine year old failing tests, our twelve year olds saying “please leave my room,” our fifteen year olds not telling us who they’re hanging out with and our older teens becoming so distant, and our married children not being their best self - we are filled with doubt that maybe we did something wrong and should have or could have done something differently.
And especially, when the end of year phone calls from school start pouring in explaining how your child could have done better.
But, when we get caught up in this negative stream of consciousness, we need to remind ourselves that these precious children of ours, the ones who perhaps didn’t have the best year, the ones who might have embarrassed us with their behavior at times, are growing people.
Just like us.
We need to stop and focus on how truly resilient these children are. How fun loving, independent, compassionate they are, who will now have a better understanding of the weak. These are children who are learning how to express their needs and emotions, how to understand others’ emotions, who are learning the ropes - how to be happy and how to make others happy. And very importantly, they are developing their own moral compass and learning right from wrong.
These children are learning how to be themselves.
And it is normal to have some level of doubt as we parent each one of them.
It’s not like there’s a voice that comes down and tells us what to do or that we’re doing a great job raising our children. Parenting is a process of trial and error and because of that, there will always be doubt.
Let’s celebrate the harder years as well as the easier years. We are celebrating the resilience and the growing pains that these children need to become who they are.
Stay strong my friend.
SPEAKING OF DOUBT …
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