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What’s Wrong, Mommy?

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Parent Coach for Moms of Teens: Fern Weis

How many times did my kids ask, “What’s wrong, Mommy?”

“Whatever the reason, I locked them out.”

And how many times did I reply, “It’s nothing, sweetie. I’m just tired”? In reality, there was often something wrong, maybe something big.

Not much emotional honesty there. Can you relate?

Something Is Wrong:

It wasn’t only that I wanted to protect them from the difficulties I was experiencing. Sometimes I couldn’t get to the heart of it myself, or I was too upset to find the words to express my feelings. Whatever the reason, I locked them out.

What’s wrong with keeping it from the children, anyway?

They know something is wrong. They see it, hear it, sense it. When you shield them, you deny their intuition. You deny their love and concern. All with the best of intentions, of course, yet it can be damaging.

“You’ll take care of them along the way, and if they feel scared, that’s okay, too.”

Don’t Keep Them In The Dark:

Keeping them in the dark causes them to worry more. And in the absence of information, they will make up stories to fill in the gaps. This is the danger zone.

The stories are usually more extreme than the real situation. Worry will do this. Thinking these thoughts can be much scarier than what you might share with them.

Of course, you share what is appropriate, with more or fewer details depending upon their age, maturity, and anxiety level.

Add to it that while you are concerned, you know you’ll get through it. You’ll take care of them along the way, and if they feel scared, that’s okay, too. It’s a feeling, everybody feels it some time, and it will go away.  (There can be a fear of being afraid, which compounds the worry.)

Our Own Fear Of Our Children’s Reactions And Perceived Frailty Does Not Serve Them At All:

Remember that in order to be prepared for life, with all its challenges, they must learn some coping skills as children. How will they cope as adults if they’ve not been exposed to uncertainty and struggle in their younger years?

Take them out of the bubble. Now is the time to help them build flexibility, adaptability and resilience. This is what it really means to put your children first.

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Fern Weis

About the Author:

Fern Weis is a Parent Empowerment Coach for Moms of Teens and a Family Recovery Coach. She’s also a wife, former middle school teacher, and the parent of two adult children who taught her more about herself than she ever could have imagined.  

Fern partners with moms of teens and young adults, privately and in groups. She helps them grow their confidence to build strong relationships and emotionally healthier kids who become successful adults. She knows first-hand that when parents do the work, the possibilities for change are limitless; that it’s never too late to start; and you don’t have to do it alone. Learn more about Fern at www.fernweis.com.