I make parenting mistakes daily. Maybe I forget to do something I said I was going to do, not have enough patience to adeptly navigate parenting challenges, or waste my time mindlessly scrolling social media instead of focusing on more productive areas. I will never be perfect, despite doing my best.
Tickets sold out within minutes, and my husband knew our chances of taking the boys to the 2019 Star Wars Celebration were about zero. But only a week before the event we got off the wait-list and got tickets! The kids were going to love it! I mean, this was Star Wars.
I look forward to family vacation so much! Our lives get so busy and it’s a chance for us to reconnect and make amazing memories together. We look forward to our trips exactly because it is a break from our usual life, the routine that can become grinding. But it’s being off our routine that disrupts our kids and causes the meltdowns. And I’m not talking about just the toddlers! Kids of any age have tantrums on vacation… and so do their parents.
Today’s question was sent in by Joy. “When should I praise my child?” She asks. She’s worried that she’s not praising her kids enough. She thinks that if she doesn’t they will feel insecure about themselves, and maybe have more bad behavior.
Mothers Really Needed to Hear that the Stress Is Not Their Fault.
When I saw the publisher’s summary of Dr. Caitlyn Collin’s book, Making Motherhood Work, I knew this was the research I was looking for. I couldn’t put it down; I read her book in 4 days. Here at last was documentation of what I claimed in my TEDx talk, The Parenting “ShouldStorm”. Dr. Collins’ research shows how mothers all over the world feel the pressure. But American mothers are the ones drowning in stress they didn’t create and can’t fix on their own. In a world that still believes in intensive mothering, American women get the least support.
One of the most common shoulds that burden parents is this: “I should spend more time with my kids. Parents tell me. “I feel like I’m not spending enough time with them. I should spend more.”
So how much time should you spend with your child? Before we look at that, it’s worth doing a little inventory. When we do, we often find that we are actually spending a great deal of time with our kids. Why don’t we notice this? Why are we always sure we are falling short?
Today’s question comes from a mom who’s really struggling to set screen time limits with her kids. She says, “How do I limit screen time?” That is a really good question and one we ask in my house a lot. Every time my husband and I get a handle on our kids’ screen time, some kind of schedule disruption comes up and we make an exception. Then we have to get practical again and ask ourselves, “So…how do I limit my child’s screen time?”
“How do I stay close to my daughter?” wrote a worried father. He shared with me how much he loves his 16 month old toddler. To care for her and provide for his family, he commutes an hour and a half each way to and from work every day. But when he arrives home from work, eager to see her, this toddler keeps rejecting her father.
The ShouldStorm we face as parents draws its power from hidden beliefs. One of the most problematic of those untrue beliefs is the idea that if we make a mistake we are going to mess our kids up for life. We particularly feel this if we make a mistake consistently.