Changing Self and Others
As the fall unfolds here in Colorado and the light snows begin to hit the mountains, it reminds me that life is full of changes in nature. These changes are true of ourselves as well. 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 quickly. 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 difficulty 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, we must change if we are running up against the same problems with ourselves or our kids, and nothing seems to be getting done. It isn’t whether we think we need to change or even who is right and who is wrong. We must change first before we see movement in our circumstances. I worked for a building principal one time that seemed to make changes. Some of them undid the projects I had completed, and it 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 thoughts that our relationship, our circumstances, began to improve and change for the better.
Awareness such as this also 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 vital that we allow them the decision-making power and be willing to adapt ourselves to their journey.
If not, 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 instead 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, which drives our circumstances. This important concept is also genuine 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 cloaked in the darkness beyond our sight.
The next step for making this change is to Expect Things to Change. Read my post here, Expect Things to Change – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)
Forbes magazine has a great post on Changing Yourself By Changing Your Self here, Changing Yourself By Changing Your Self (forbes.com)
Yours for better parenting,