When Kids Don’t Follow the Script

I bet you don’t have any parenting challenges.

That was a joke.

But seriously, if you don’t, consider yourself blessed.

Have you ever felt like you’re navigating a minefield blindfolded? That’s parenting. You had this picture-perfect idea of how parenting would go. You’d be the cool parent, the one who gets it right. Instead, you find yourself in the trenches, wondering if anyone else is struggling as much as you are.

You’re not alone.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You crafted this flawless plan for raising your kid. You imagined instilling habits that would set them up for life. But here’s the twist – your child had a whole different script.

The Weight of Unmet Expectations

I get it. I’ve been there. I had this grand plan for my daughter, Sara. Healthy eating, organised living, basketball, and cultivating a love for writing – I had it all mapped out. But Sara being Sara, marched to the beat of her drum. She turned each of my plans on its head.

And it’s not just the big stuff. It’s the little things, too, like how she packs her school bag at the last minute. She acts as if time has chosen to freeze until she is ready. Her leisurely pace when we’re already late drives me up the wall. She sees that but remains unfazed. That’s quintessentially how she is.

She’s clear about what she likes and dislikes; if that doesn’t work for me, too bad.

I tried to sell her on all the benefits of the plans that I made for her. But it was like water off a duck’s back. She heard all of it and then dismissed them. She couldn’t care less.

It took a toll on me. The feeling of failing at convincing just one child weighed heavily. I began to worry, “If I can’t impress upon my solitary child, how can I influence others?” I started doubting my persuasion skills, which I used to be proud of.

After a long struggle, I understood. In my family, everyone has a mind of his/her own. Why should Sara be any different?

The Eureka Moment

It dawned on me that Sara didn’t live to meet my expectations before it finally hit me – I couldn’t change her, but I could change my response.

It wasn’t an overnight transformation, but I’m getting there, one step at a time. I know it is easier said than done, and it will take a lot from me to stay the course. But I will give it a shot.

Your Takeaway

You know what? This isn’t just a ‘me’ problem. It’s a universal parenting challenge. We all fall into this trap of expecting our kids to see the world through our lens. But that’s a tall order.

Things improve when you accept them for who they are, not who you want them to be. It’s a tough mental shift. It requires changing your internal settings. The quicker you do that, the less agony you experience.

So why wait?

Remember this: parenting isn’t about moulding your child into your ideal. Next time you find yourself in a parenting bind, hold yourself.

Breathe. Accept. Adapt.

Your peace of mind is worth it.

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