Many of the moms I work through parent coaching each week arrive to their appointment depleted. They are frustrated, angry, and/or sad with their teen or young adult. The problems they come in with aren’t small, usually they are looking for help with issues like their kid’s excessive substance use or lack of motivation due to a diagnosis of anxiety or depression. Essentially their young person has unhealthy coping skills and has lost a sense of purpose and desire to move forward in life.
In part, they don’t want to grow up.
As a GenX parent myself, I understand the feelings of these moms who come to me. I also observe the world we are currently living in and understand why young people may see it as bleak. Parents work hard and do their best to raise children into adults who are kind, hard-working, and who contribute to the world, when that’s not happening they become alarmed.
What makes it worse is the parents growing anxiety.
As a mom of five kids who are 17, 19, 24, 29 and 35, I know even when your kids are older that anxiety doesn’t go away. Often it increases because the stakes become higher.
In parenting for over four decades and in working professionally with parents for almost a decade I know one thing for certain…when we attend to our stress and emotional well-being we are less likely to pass and project our stuff onto our kids. We are more likely to be able to hold space for our kid’s big feelings (anxiety, hopelessness, doubt, fear, anger, frustration, disappointment) when we aren’t bottling up our own.
For the past several years I have used morning meditation and daily walks to work through my family and work stress. These have been invaluable tools for me. However, for the past year I’ve been missing a few things I used to have before we sold our home and moved into a townhome in the River Walk.
A move we made to make our lives simpler.
I’ve missed the variety of exercise classes I used to have available to me through our amenities center and the group connection and activity (or commiserating about how sore we are after a good workout).
So, for 2023 I’ve committed myself to a local women’s gym.
I could get hung up on the cost, or the time commitment to drive to the gym, how out of shape I’ve gotten, but feeling guilty for investing in myself or getting too hung up on the way my body looks doesn’t serve me, my family, or my clients. I need to be able to stay in good physical and mental health in order to continue living a life I love!
What are you missing from your life that will help you take good care of YOU this year? The moms who come into my coaching practice learn over a series of weeks that when they begin to focus on themselves the problems with their kid’s become lighter and more manageable. We are all connected, especially so in the family dynamic.
Our kids need our support as they transition from teen into young adulthood, but when we worry too much and step in to do too much for them we take away their sense of purpose and we prohibit them from learning the natural consequences of their actions. You may have to start small to raise the bar for them to move forward in their lives, but holding still enables the behavior.
Love your son or daughter enough this year to make your health and well-being a priority. How can you give yourself permission to take advantage of the New Year to start a new personal chapter?