Parenting is simultaneously the most rewarding, and the hardest, job we can have. Just when we think we have everything under control, our kids’ needs change – or our circumstances change – and we are back to “What in the heck do I do now?!?”
When you parent a child who has ADHD or associated challenges, you have more questions…and more rewards. When things go well, it’s a victory that other parents may take for granted.
When our little one begins a short book despite reading problems, figures out a way to calm herself down, or follows a request for the first time without push back, it’s a triumph for the whole family.
When our teen takes out the trash without a reminder, starts homework independently, or organizes a sleepover on a long weekend, we know that they are making real progress.
When our young adult makes a budget, gets ready to graduate, or prepares for a job interview, we know we are doing our job and we can all celebrate.
But when things don’t go as planned, when school is difficult, when our kids don’t know how to make or keep friends, when there are homework wars, when there’s worry about a young adult who isn’t prepared for the next steps of independence, it’s something that can make parents feel like they’re alone without a place to turn. And we blame ourselves.
It’s a privilege to be in the position of supporting the growth of a child. It’s really miraculous how our kids grow and change. But there can be a problem when we expect near-perfection in our parenting. We have in our mind’s eye how we want to parent, and then when something unexpected occurs, the only thing we can do is to make the best decision we can at the time.
That’s why I’ve joked over the years that I was going to write a blog called “Parenting by the Seat of My Pants.” No matter our education, or background, we are all just doing the best we can with the information we have at the moment.
Clearly, we all want to be great parents. Our kids deserve the very best. But, as parents, we need to give ourselves permission to be human, and give ourselves permission to occasionally parent by the seat of our pants.
Coaching can help. Contact me if I can be a resource.