Homework can bring us to our knees — “Just, will you JUST, finish it ALREADY!?” It’s hard to like ourselves as we scream, judge, blame and compare when we’ve flipped our lid. And, once we’re calm, it’s difficult to let go of the guilt. It’s crazy making stuff that we want to be SO DONE with.
While my ire was directed at Trump (and, momentarily, his wife), I drew a line at my fellow Americans. I couldn’t in good conscience put down or label almost half of my country, or presume to know what was going on in their minds and hearts.
I still believed Thomas Gordon's assertion that all behavior seeks to meet needs. Their vote was doing something FOR themselves, and not TO me, and I wanted to understand what that something was.
A few weeks ago, I spent two days at your university, listening to deans, advisors and mental health professionals tell us parents how to support you and your classmates in the upcoming year. I was pretty relaxed; nothing they said was too jarring.
It all made me wonder: What would this moment be like had I not learned P.E.T.?
Last year, a friend described senior year (Year 13 in HK) as "excruciating," joking that she'd be relieved when her son, after dragging his feet for months on his college applications, finally took off. I just nodded nervously: would that be me?
Not so! I am deeply grateful I am enjoying Harrison's last year.
And then there's the Q & A session Jake held recently for my class participants . . .
I initially wanted to say that my values were:
- Punctuality shows respect for others
- Punctuality is a good sign of self-discipline
But there was more to it when I started thinking about where these values came from. My mother (I focus on her because my father passed away when I was two) did not model rigid punctuality.
I realized my strictness comes from the keen discomfort I feel (less and less now but it's still there!) when people are displeased with me.
As parents, it may be hard to shift to this place where we give it our best shot and then it's out of our hands. We feel locked in battle and "losing" is hard to swallow.
But let's zoom out and focus on this comforting fact: by refusing to use power, we are winning a truly important war, a war for a lasting positive relationship with our children.
On New Year's Eve at dinner, I shared that my resolution is to keep investigating what's going on when I feel uncomfortable in my skin as a parent.
Maybe you thought because I'm a Parent Effectiveness Training instructor, I'd be past that stage?
Oh, no, no, no.