Remaining Open-Minded, Not Self-Critical

We are bombarded, sometimes multiple times a day, with articles, blogs, podcasts and posts that suggest we need to adjust our leadership, clean up our parenting, find balance in our life/work, take time for ourselves, lean in, lean out…it goes on and on.

Should you choose to approach all of these tips and suggestions with an open mind, it is my hope that you will not criticize yourself for, “doing it wrong” or “being inadequate” or “for not approaching these ‘wellness tips’”at all.

Awash in a sea of advice and expectations, we can find ourselves grasping a small piece of advice or suggestion and most often it leads us to think, shoot, I’m blowing it, again. Just yesterday, I found myself reading a post forwarded from my sister-in-law called, X-Plan: Giving Your Kids a Way Out.” After reading the author’s suggestion, I discovered I was silently berating myself with the thought:  Great idea. Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll have to get my husband and 2 teenage boys on board right away!

The article suggests a confidential texting plan between parent and child that allows teenagers an escape from uncomfortable peer pressure. After receiving the text X, a parent shows up at said party, swoops in to say a family emergency has taken place and you are needed home right away.  

Then I paused and thought, wait a minute…we live on campus of a private boarding school (my husband is an administrator), my boys don’t go to off-campus parties and one of my sons is just a year away from college where I won’t be able to whisk him away from uncomfortable situations. He needs to practice this on his own. In my opinion, despite this article, written by an “expert” in the field of parenting, and despite my inclination to take the advice as better than my own, I am grateful that I paused to realize that providing my sons their own skill set to handle uncomfortable situations and raising them with the confidence to use that skill set is far more apt for my family than the advice of a parenting “expert” who I haven’t met. I will add; however, I am grateful for articles such as, “X-Plan” because they offer me the opportunity to pause and re-assess what is happening in my own life.

Perhaps when being bombarded with advice, what-if’s, should and oughts – just take the time to pause and check in with yourself. . . recalibration is an ongoing entity in our home and I imagine in most.

– Melissa