Guiding another person can bring us to our knees. As a parent of two teenagers, I am on my knees. My goal is not to do it perfectly. It is only to improve. With each encounter I learn. I have learned that he needs time. More time than I am comfortable giving- in order to process what is happening within him. I have learned this through not giving him the time and seeing tears in his eyes as he gets overwhelmed with the internal and the external (me). Sometimes I even get it right and allow him the space and time to process and then casually ask him later about our previous exchange. He has more to say then. And it is sound.
I have learned that she needs to be heard. She learns herself in that way. Perfect are the days when I have the space and patience to give it to her at the kitchen island. Many days I do not. So, what that means is that I live with imperfection. I accept that short exchange as a taste of what is to come-an appetizer for the meal that will inevitably follow. Sometimes, the meal comes if I sit down for it.
As an instructor of parents, there is a perception that I can find perfection. If I can’t, who can? No one can. There are many of you out there doing it MUCH better than I…it comes more natural for you, perhaps. Perfection is no longer my goal. I used to think that I had the power to prevent my children from being in therapy as adults processing all their disappointments/pain that resulted from the job that I/we have done. Now I just save for their counseling fund.
Just for today, give yourself a break. If you can learn from the encounters that you have with your children. It is perfect.