As a climber there is nothing worse than trying to get set up for a climb and finding your nicely coiled rope has ended up in a tangled mess, it generally happens when you are in a rush or when you aren’t concentrating on what you are doing. Believing I know what I’m doing and can do it in my sleep.
I realised today that parenting is very much like climbing, you see after an evening walk with my 11 year old daughter, slowly she started to tell me how she was feeling, mixed up in the frustrations with her brother and problems at school, there were a number of things that she was worrying about that made me realise that she was in a tangle, small worries become big ones. Misunderstood conversations become dramatic problems. Lack of confidence coupled with these misunderstandings creates an anxious outlook on life.
For example we have been trying to eat healthy and manage what we spend on food, Bekah had taken that as we had no money and was panicking we were going to run out of food. It seems ridiculous as an adult but young minds haven’t learned that ability to take in all the information and process what it means.
I think we are quite good at spending time with our kids, but this has challenged me and has made me think about what I get out of time with them and what they get out of it. Time is such a precious commodity now a days, we are so busy and so rushed, are we actually taking time to really listen to and understand our children’s needs.
Is this why so many children are struggling with anxiety and self confidence issues?
Something I tried a while ago which was very hard, was to sit down with one of your children and ask them to tell you how you were doing as a parent!!
Wow, that was a hard thing to do, to have to listen to a hard hitting evaluation of your parenting.
Maybe I need to do that again.
You see to untangle a mess you have to find your way through all the knots.
I know for me time with kids is really important and the starting point in solving any problem is giving it time. When I’m climbing if I am slow and methodical in my approach, organised in how I uncoil the rope then I am usually in a better place to start climbing. When I try do it on auto-pilot then I am guaranteed to make a mess, tangle my rope and hinder my objective for the day.
Time to consider switching off auto pilot and concentrate on the here and now.