Summer is, for many, a time of expectations. Regardless of it is vacation travels and fun expeditions, weeks in the summer house, or visits to the beach are being planned – we are many parents feeling the pressure of everything needing to be as great as possible. Memories are supposed to be built and we are the directors.
All the while we are aware that it usually does not work that way. A long-anticipated travel abroad could end up a catastrophe whilst a spontaneous swim in the city’s wading pool could become a memory for life. Because surely our (arranged often by grown-ups) emotions sometimes clash with our children in situations where we believe all the right ingredients exist for a successful day. Still, it ends with all kids screaming and crying. That is not how the script was designed?!
I believe we can learn quite a bit if we spend some time studying our own reactions around situations. We might not react with the same emotional characteristics as our kids, but we can probably recognize the underlying feeling.
A classic situation is when a super fun day has been spent somewhere but it ends in chaos. Kids screaming and grown-ups losing their minds as “Can you never just be grateful? Then we will never do this again as you clearly hate it”
Haven’t we all been there? If not only happiness is shown, we wonder (loudly or bitterly to ourselves...) how in the world we raised such spoiled children…
But if we back up a little and look at ourselves – do we not feel disappointment when something we have looked forward to comes to an end? We might have the ability to control our emotions, but we do feel sadness. We have had so much fun and suddenly it ended.
This has nothing to do with being ungrateful for what we have experienced. Most grown-ups know this, but our image of “the perfect (directed…) day” is so strong that it clashes with reason. (On Instagram you do not see any chaotic endings).
Are you good at validating your kids feelings in these situations? Do you find peace to acknowledge the “why” in these situations or are you sucked into the chaos and become part of it? Why do you believe you react as you do?