Individual therapy

Why you aren’t jacking up your kids unless you really are

Unless you are doing something blatantly awful like beating up your kids or leaving them home alone while you jet off to Vegas, you are probably doing a fine job of raising your kid/s.I only have one child so I have plenty of time to wonder how I am totally screwing this up.  I think if I had a bunch of kids I wouldn’t have time to worry about all this screwing up nonsense.  

I’m not sure if it’s just me, it might be, but I don’t want my kid scheduled into classes, clubs, activities every day of the week and on weekends where I am made to drive all over the state.  If you are a parent with a child and you both like that lifestyle, more power to you.  I happen to like the fact that my son isn’t scheduled out the wazoo.  He’s in school from 7:45 until 4 or 5 pm.  I think even that is a bit much but he loves his school so it’s all good.

I tend to feel guilty when he shuts himself in the game room playing his video games. He plays too many video games and I let him.  Horrible by today’s standards, right?  What would society (other parents) say?!?!  I don’t know, but I do know he is also having fun and I did the same thing when I was a kid.  He also gets almost straight A’s.  When I was a kid we entertained ourselves with videogames, MTV, movies, and TV dinners.  If we were bored we made up games to play, burnt bugs with a magnifying glass (sorry bugs), had mud pie wars and ran around the neighborhood.  

Things I have done to jack up my son:

  • Allow him to play all day on the XBOX
  • Shamed him (accidently but still…)
  • For sure I taught him swear words (I can’t believe I fucking did that, but I did.)
  • Not enough veggies and fruits and way too many chips and ice cream.  
  • I didn’t believe him and then found out he told the truth.  Sigh….
  • Had one too many cocktails in front of him
  • Fought with my husband and for sure he heard

(side bar - my mom told me once that my dad came home after too much boozing and peed in the closet cuz he thought it was the bathroom, hahaa, I have NOT done that)

So if you are a parent who spends quality time with your kid/s, gives them lots of love and hugs and kisses, is there for them when they need you, well you are one awesome human being.  They don’t HAVE to have a phone.  If you are considering it, call me so I can get The Phone Contract out to you asap.  My son’s job is to try hard in school, be a good friend, have fun and be a nice human.  That’s it.  He doesn’t have to be numero uno at a team sport, he just has to play if he wants to and enjoy the game.

There are way too many kids ending up in hospitals and inpatient facilities because of the huge amounts of anxiety put on them in school, sports, social settings, you name it.  The super sad part is that often all the beds are taken.  Let’s just encourage our kids to be kids, to be who they are and we love them no matter what.  If they get an F, we love them.  If they strike out, we hug them for trying.  If they no longer want to play when the seasons over, they don’t have to sign up again.  

If you have a list like mine, congratulations, you are a real live person who makes mistakes.  Own your shit, apologize when you jack it up and move on.  It’s called being a good role model when you haven’t been a good role model, get it?  Let’s all stop pretending that certain parents have it all together cuz I’m here to tell you it’s total bullshit.

If you are brave enough (and you don’t have to be!), go ahead and put your list of jacking it all up in the comments section.  Let’s all bond over it.  Or, if you’d rather do it in private, call me and we can chat.  No more feeling like we are alone in this parenting business, the only one confused and sometimes freaked out.  Cuz I really think we are ALL a part of that group.  


Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself!

In a previous post I discussed unhelpful thinking styles.  Unhelpful thinking styles are common thinking ‘errors’ that we all utilize at some point or other.  They can become patterns we don’t even realize we are using them!  As with many things in life, as we get older we can get stuck in patterns and not know how to get out of them.  Unhelpful thinking styles are one such pattern.  One very common Unhelpful thinking style that I see a lot with people, but especially women in their late twenties to mid-thirties is “Shoulding” and “Musting”.  As the name indicates, this occurs when we tell ourselves that we should do something or we must do something.  It may seem as though Shoulding and Musting would be helpful.  For instance, someone with a drinking problem tells themselves ‘I must not drink and drive home tonight’.  However, I see it more commonly in the everyday lives of women whose life does not match up to the expectations she set for herself.  For example, perhaps she thought that she would be married by 27 or have the been promoted to high level position in her company by 30.  When these life goals don’t occur in the arbitrary time frame that she set for herself, there can be a lot of self doubt and judgment that comes with that.  If she is still single at 28, then she thinks there is something wrong with her and she will tell herself that she ‘should’ or  ‘must’ change who she is to get what she wants.  If the promotion doesn’t come, then she tells herself that she ‘should have worked harder’ and ‘must stay later at the office’.  In reality, there are a million factors that affect the course of our lives and self blame and doubt won’t make any difference except to make us feel worse about ourselves.  When we’re young, we think we know how life will pan out.  We look around ourselves and think “I’ll definitely be married by the ripe old age of 26!” despite having no idea what course our lives will take or allowing for our goals and desires to change.  When things don’t go according to plan, or life isn’t what you thought it might be by now, of course a healthy dose of self reflection can be useful.  However, when we get the pattern of constantly telling ourselves that we should or must do things all the times, that is no longer helpful thinking.  As my high school math teacher used to say to me: Stop shoulding all over yourself!