Parent the child you have not the child you want

One of the toughest things I am learning as a parent is that my girls are not representations of an average persona. They are unique, changing individuals with dynamic needs.

Some might say, “of course they are dumbass. What did you expect?” Well, that’s true, but it’s also a gross oversimplification. We want to be the malleable, loving parent who recognizes and adapts as our children grow and change. I also want something concrete. Some way I can help and coach when I’m the one who’s tired, exhausted, mentally thrashed from daily life.

We have a child with anxiety. I’m anxious by nature, but this is so much more. Complete and total physical manifestation when faced with seemingly everyday tasks. It’s not all the time, but it’s real. To my earlier, judgmental self who would say, “No fucking way. Kids can’t have anxiety. They don’t have shit to worry about” I say, “Shut the fuck up you idiot. Your perfect world doesn’t exist. Kids can be quite messed up even if they have perfect homes. You will learn this, but it would be better if you’d open your eyes early and embrace it.”

My other daughter is no less in need if parental support. Granted, she’s a tank, bulling her way through life’s challenges with a ferocity unmatched, and shows no signs of anxiety, but she still has needs. She still needs coaching and correction. Daily.OK. Many, many times daily.

Context switching. Recognizing when one has to context switch. Seeing that previous tactics are no longer working…

Holy fuck it’s an insane amount of work.

Work we do and, in truth, love to do.

That don’t make it any easier though. We all work hard to make our kids lives better and better each day. Watching them blossom is the most amazing thing ever in the history of the world.

But it ain’t easy, and I fuck it up a lot.

Workin’ on it. Day-by-freakin’-day.

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