Real Relationship Advice
Being a parent is a mix of Betty Crocker mixed with a personal assistant and maid with the same stress as a person diffusing a nuclear bomb. We do everything that we can to keep our kids safe and healthy and educated and protected from predators including sex offenders, bullies, coyotes and eagles. We are so worried about whether little Hershel is learning disabled or allergic to peanuts that we completely forget that the true danger that face our children day in and day out is Mom and Dad’s attitude towards life. That’s right; we are the predators behind the wall. Our attitudes will be the foundation that they will draw from when they are in a quandary or find themselves inundated with stressors.
The sad fact is that our job as parents is only measured on the success or failures of our children. The reality is that success is hardly measured in dollar signs if your child is miserable. A good job is great but hardly worth it if your child is not happy. A million bucks in the bank doesn’t mean a thing if your child feels that the world is unfair or scary. Does your child have the resources to deal with the highs and lows of reality? That is our real job. More than security guard, policeman, teacher, chauffeur, chef and nurse, our job is cheerleader and role model. More than any other hat we wear, the role of optimistic, happy Mommy/Daddy is the most vital character we play.
Within the last 30 years of child psychology, researchers began studying what makes people overcome the stressors of life. The word we used and overused was resilience. Resiliency was considered the number one indicator if a child could overcome a shitty childhood or trauma. Resiliency is the ability to adapt and overcome from hardship; the capacity to bounce back from crises. Being resilient is akin to weather proofing your house; wind, rain and ice can attack your home but it refuses to be harmed.
One of the terms they use with resiliency is ‘self-righting’. The term provides a strong visual for overcoming adversity. The ability to bounce back, stand up and move on is something all people admire. Before we thought that some people possess this ability but we have found that everyone has the capability of self-righting. However, what would be the point if we had no expectation of a better tomorrow?
This is where we can use our incredible position as parents to teach our children to hope and dream. When we allow them to be hopeful we are being the parents we dreamt we would be; our hope fulfilled. Now, to be clear, this is not to say we are to support all the notions of our kids. Teaching them reality is also just as vital. But like Casey Kasem use to say, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars” should be our call as parents.