Parenting itself is an adventure. The moment you find out you’re pregnant a new course is set. The day they are placed in our arms, the first smile, the first word, the first tantrum and with each first, our children are guiding us. We think we are the ones in charge of the adventure but it is at best equal. The things that make them happy, sad, joyful and all of those other things often determine what makes us, at least temporarily, feel a sense of joy, sadness and upset.
When they hit adolescence and the developmental goal becomes to develop independence, one of our biggest goals needs to be finding ways to continue this adventure together with the positive experiences outweighing the negative experiences.
This is not always easy when we are worried about matters that involve safety and lifelong happiness. Life can quickly become all about taking the correct courses, getting the best grades, telling them all about the things they do not want to do or should not do.
During these times, it becomes important to keep a focus of 95/5. What I mean by this is that 95% of our interactions with our children should always be about adventuring together, either simply being together doing life or embracing the things that make their heart sing and likewise ours. The other 5% can be about studying, staying safe and making good guided decisions.
If you are a parent that struggles with sharing the role of “Guide” for this adventure, I challenge you to work toward the 95/5. When you build up the positive interactions, you may find the need for negative ones diminish.
Wishing you happy adventures!