You feeling blue too?
Two weeks into the New Year and all I’ve heard this week from friends, family and associates, is how low everyone is feeling.
No one is immune to worry.
We all at some time, fear the future, ruminate on the past and spend endless, sleepless nights, catastrophising. The dark of the night seems to magnify issues to monstrous proportions.
Even when there’s nothing to worry about, it worries us, and we think that something must be wrong?
I’ve been there many times.
And it feels like there’s nothing we can do, as problems paralyse us from taking any action. This condition is known as paralysis by analysis. It’s when we become plagued with indecision and get caught up in a state of over thinking an issue.
Then instead of dealing with it, we worry about it!
Parenting is a ‘Worrying Business’
And as parents there’s not only ourselves to worry about.
When it comes to our children, we can worry about everything and anything. As we deliberate on what they should eat, how to deal with their unwanted behaviour and how they are progressing at school?
And all of this responsibility can weigh heavy on us. Especially if we feel over whelming pressure from others, such as teachers or spouses, adding to the problem itself
This can become a constant source of stress, as we feel we must instantly sort everything out, the right way.
This pressure makes it difficult to see the wood from the trees, leaving decision making impossible. But taking decisive action and doing something, even if that action is not the right action to take, sets the solutions to problems in motion.
When we put ourselves out there, answers find us.
When we procrastinate or are fearful of making the wrong choices, and take no action to solve an issue, this leads to a lack of confidence in our own parenting abilities, preventing us from finding solutions.
The only solution is proactively taking action to prevent or deal with problems, rather than Auto Pilot Parent when things go wrong.
This empowers us to handle situations, as well as our children’s behaviour.
However, taking a proactive approach can also mean stepping back and away from the problem itself.
When we are less involved in the emotional side, we can start to narrow down a couple of options that we could take. Then take assertive action.
For example, we may find ourselves deliberating over several possible schools that we could send our children to. When faced with such an important decision, choosing the right school could seem more daunting than it really is.
Once we can relax, step back and think clearly, the decision usually rests on only one of two possibilities. And that’s the way with most problems.
It’s having the clarity to narrow things down. Knowing that even if we make a wrong choice, we can feel reassured that we can always change course if we are going in the wrong direction.
Being proactive eliminates doubt.
Even if it turns out we were wrong, that’s better than not taking action and never knowing, allowing others to take the lead.
What we find when we take this approach is that, we can never really make a wrong decision anyway, just a different one.
As parent’s, we need to accept that we won’t always make the right choices or decisions all of the time.
That’s ok, because good or bad, we can, and will learn from all of them.
As long as we keep moving, we will make progress, and rid ourselves of this paralysis by analysis.
And by doing what we can, we can feel confident in the knowledge that we are always doing our best.
We will then be free to relax knowing that, we cannot control everything that happens.
But the most proactive thing we can all do as parents, is to stop worrying about our children’s; behaviour, education, health, happiness, safety, success or whatever else is worrying us at the moment, and take- action to do something about it.
Start today by doing the following ‘Worry Busting’ Exercise.
This simple technique helps us to gain
a clearer perspective, alleviating a certain degree of worry straight away. Focusing
more on solutions rather than problems.
THE WORRY BUSTER TECHNIQUE
- First think about something that is worrying you at this moment regarding your child.
- Now write down all the reasons why it is worrying you? Note how worrying about it has helped the situation or how it has made it worse?
- Then work out how long you have been worrying about it for?
- Now, decide how much longer you want to keep on worrying about it?
- Next write a list of all the possible ways that you can try to help solve the problem, or at least make it less of a worry. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can think of, regardless how unrealistic they sound at first.
- Now choose one way that you can take- action on the problem today.
- Finally, go and take some action and do something to change the situation now.
Can’t find a solution right now?
Then just decide to relax and step back, and accept the way things are for now.
Clear your mind of the problem, and do something else until a solution comes to mind. Busy yourself with chores or exercise, and let the solution bubble away in the back of your mind, unhindered by you.
You’ve proactively looked at the issue by doing the ‘Worry Busting Technique’.
Now the only thing you can change, is to stop worrying about something you cannot change. If there is nothing you can do about it, then why waste time and energy worrying?
Worrying will not help or change anything.
After all, most of what we worry about never actually happens anyway. Rest assured, if we are doing all that we can do right now, then there is no need to worry about anything else.