January Parenting Article
The Winds of Change
by Annie Fox, M.Ed.
|“... being blind to the changes in front of you isn’t the best way to parent your kids.”
way is it 2007 already! Weren’t we just doing the Y2K thing? We must be experiencing time “inflation” or
something equally weird because 24 hours just doesn’t last as long as it used to. And what about our kids? They’re
growing up at warp speed, for sure. It’s probably a blessing that we’re all too busy to notice them morphing
into adults before our eyes, otherwise how scary would that be? Of course, when it comes to other people’s kids, you
can’t miss it. But with your own… well, we parents have our blind spots, don’t we? But being blind to
the changes in front of you isn’t the best way to parent your kids.
Life is all about change and our ability to deal with it. Our bodies, our feelings, our kids, our relationships,
our situations are all constantly changing. (So are all the molecules on your kitchen table, but we can save that
for another time.) The more I meditate and breathe and read and write and think and teach, the clearer the changing
nature of life becomes. The more I twist my torso into improbable positions (hey, it’s not painful, it’s
yoga!), the more I learn how flexibility is the best tool I’ve got going for me.
“Steady in the winds of change,” my yoga teacher says. Steady as she goes. Steady, strong, centered.
Those are the keystones to effective parenting. But steady doesn’t mean “stuck” and true strength
requires insight into what’s needed right now.
you’ve always had a close relationship with your 12-year-old daughter. She’s been a kid who’s
told you everything she thinks and feels. You’ve prided yourself on your closeness and like how it reflects
so positively on your parenting skills. Then one day you walk past her room and the door’s closed. You go
in. She’s listening to music and reading. “Hi Dad,” she grins, not removing her headphones.
You sit on the bed. “Hi, sweetheart. So tell me, what’s new with you?”
An awkward silence follows.
“You want something, Dad?”
You shake your head and slowly walk toward the door. “Dad,” your daughter says sweetly, “Next
time could you please knock?”
“Sure, honey,” your smile belies the ice pick skewering your heart. In the hallway your mind reels. Why
should I have to knock at my own child’s door?! We’ve never had closed doors between us! She must
be hiding something. I’m going back in there and demand that she tell me what’s going on. I couldn’t
talk to my father about important things but I’m going to make sure that my daughter…
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