Do they cry themselves to sleep when you go on a business trip? Are you missing important conversations after school? Will your children tell you if they are having a problem with friends? Will you know if they come home with a stomach ache each day or if they are being teased on the playground?
These thoughts and concerns swirl around in your head like a tornado that is trying to form – but instead stays on the horizon, hands on hips, taunting you. Sure, if that tornado ever moved in it could do some damage. But this imaginary tornado is happy to stand just outside of reach, tongue sticking out – daring you to challenge its windy assertions.
Time to check the weather report? Chances are that tornado is just a collection of tiny storms that will easily dissipate if challenged.
We can have those tough conversations with our staff. We can confide in our friends with honesty and authenticity. We feel better when we are able to share how we are feeling with our partners and family members. But somehow, when that tornado shows up, instead of talking, we freeze. And that ability to communicate with the outside world, can turn into a guilty lump in the throat that stops us from learning the truth.
Time to check the weather report? It’s probably sunnier than you think.
Of course there are challenges. Your children face their own issues each and every day – and if they had their druthers they might wish you could be with them 24/7. But what do they need from you? How are they really feeling about life? The tornado doesn’t have any of those answers and the lump in your throat simply keeps you from investigating.
Time to check the weather report? It’s going to be a beautiful day.
Coach Me Quick Tips for Checking the Weather:
Do you ever look at your child and wonder how they became the person they are? The things that might have bothered you – won’t bother them. But they will be challenged in areas you might not have ever dreamed could be challenging. Be open to hearing their truth without filtering it through your truth.
2. Ask dumb questions.
You may think you know the answers but don’t assume that you do. Your child may not care if you send her with home baked cookies for the bake sale. Before you spend another late night baking, ask her.
3. Assume things change daily.
Children’s needs and wants change just as quickly as they do. Just because your child needed you to walk her into school last week, doesn’t mean she wants that today. Keep checking in.
4. Be honest about what you can and cannot do for your child.
You may not be able to meet every need – and that’s ok. Just acknowledging that the need exists, is so important. Your child might wish you could pick him up from school every day. The truth is that you cannot do that and keep your job. But are there some days that you could work it out to pick him up from school? Acknowledge the wish and do what you can to fulfill it.
5. Be a work in progress.
We are not looking for perfection here, just a willingness to move forward in the best way you know how. What is the minimum you can do each day to let your child know you are always there for them?
Lump in the throat and imaginary tornado be gone! Let the weather checking begin!
Enjoying the sunshine in L.A.