Changing Self and Others

As the fall unfolds here in Colorado and the light snows begin to hit the mountains we’re reminded yet again that life is full of changes in nature.  This is true of ourselves as well, isn’t it?  But who should change first?  We want others to change to be more like we think and they want the same, therefore we can end up stuck as we are so easily.  As parents, we want our kids to change to what we recognize, to be more like they “should” be.  But the kids, if you think back, don’t always feel they need to change.  They want to be unique, different, see things differently than we do as parents.  It quickly becomes a quandary of emotions and tussles.

Today I would like to offer this thought:  “We must change before our circumstances change.”  If we are unwilling to change, if we are running up against the same problems with our selves or our kids and nothing seems to be getting done, we must change.  It isn’t a matter of whether we think we need to change, or even who is right and who is wrong.  We must change first before we will see movement in our circumstances.  I worked for a building principal one time that seemed to just make changes.  Some of then undid the projects that I had completed and it really seemed wrong to me to eliminate them.  I struggled with that elimination of my work and our relationship struggled.  It wasn’t until I embraced those changes and made some changes in my own thoughts, that our relationship, our circumstances, began to improve and to change for the better.

As this applies to our relationship with our kids. It becomes critical that we as parents be willing to change our language about things, change our outlook to something like, “I have some ideas for you when you’re ready.  Go ahead and try your ideas I’ll be anxious to hear how they’re going for you.”  Anything that leaves a door open but doesn’t dictate an either/or choice for them.  As kids mature and become teenagers, it is more and more important that we allow them the decision making power and be willing to adapt ourselves to their journey.  If not, then they never develop those skills that we want them to have in their 20s and beyond.

Who should change first?  Probably you, me, and us!  We should first be willing to make the first move and it should be obvious enough to the other person that we’ve made the first move.  Next, as the relationship develops, we will begin to see them change as well, which in turn drives our circumstances.  This important concept is also true of just ourselves.  If you are wishing, hoping, wanting and seemingly not getting what you desire, then make a change in yourself, in how you see things and interact with them.  You will see doors open and opportunities unveil themselves that were there all along but were cloaked in the darkness beyond our sight.

Yours for better parenting,

Rich