What works one day might not work the next.
The only thing that remains consistent about parenting is change. This should come as no big shock, because, if you notice, life, itself, is always changing. Every day. All the time.
The developmental phases that we coo and fuss over, will transform.
The habits and behaviors we can’t stand, will not be the same forever.
What works, might work for a while, but then the child’s needs change, and so you have to change your approach.
Getting stuck in ‘the way it used to work’ or ‘the way it used to be‘ only leads to frustration and sadness.
There can be a lot of fear in letting go and allowing the change. But, it’s certainly a more pain-free option. Because, what’s worse than being afraid of change is unconsciously resisting change.
The child, the parent, the family dynamic, that existed a week ago, is different to the one that exists today. With young children, the family dynamic that existed a year ago is VASTLY different to the family dynamic that exists today.
Problems arise when I get rigid in my day-to-day living. When I fail to see how EVERYONE’S needs in the family are changing, then we get in a rut. All of a sudden, things don’t seem to be ‘working‘ or I find myself reminiscing about how it used to be. Then, I know. Knock knock. Remember to let things change.
I also have to remind myself that my needs are changing! A child’s rate of change is much more rapid and demanding than an adult’s, so the child’s needs often get met with much more priority. Meeting my changing needs does not mean, “I come first“, it means, my needs are important too.
When I get stuck in a gutter, it’s such a relief knowing that everything is going to change. But, it’s also important to remember change when everything is sunshine and rainbows. Hanging on to the idea that everything should always be perfect, can bring misery.
Of course, with every truth, there is always a duality… Many people say that children thrive on consistency and routine. If we let things change too often, won’t they get confused? Well, maybe that’s partially true too, but let’s not get too stuck.
The one thing that my children should consistently have, is my love when things do change. Let the ‘routine things‘ in their life be my unconditional love. Let the rock steady, never changing ‘thing‘ in their life be that I do my best to listen, to help facilitate the change. Life is too dynamic to get stuck standing still.