It will get better.

Things will improve.  

But it WILL get worse before it gets better.

I was saying this to a couple of parents just about a month ago.  Not about a virus but about behavior and sleeping.  

“Things will improve, but they will get worse first.”

Those were my parenting words but they now they have a new meaning as well.  But we can learn from the parallels.  We can be OK with the getting worse part.  We can breath into the difficulty and know that it won’t last forever.

So if your child isn’t getting good sleep and you know that putting a stricter routine into place is actually going to make the behavior worse. You are correct! But don’t let that stop you!  It will get worse, but then it will get better.

If you know that staying at home and not getting a fun coffee or visiting the park will make the whole pandemic shorter and fewer deaths- then do the hard part now because it will get better and it will get better faster, the more work we put in now.  

Do the hard part now, knowing that it will get better faster, the more work we put in now.

I know this is hard.  Parenting is hard and your children will learn so much from this experience.  They will learn that we sometimes do things for our community and not for ourselves.  And that we take care of each other and that we can do hard things. 

As soon as people find out that I’m a parent coach, the air around us changes.  There’s this expectation that my children are perfect children.  Why is this career the only one where this is assumed?  Do mechanics drive cars that break down?  Do doctors get colds and other illnesses?  Do the people at smartphone fix-it stores drop and break their phones (probably not, but that’s another story)?

One thing about having children is they push our buttons.  Not necessarily other people’s buttons (but that can happen too) but they really come down hard on us as parents.  As a teacher, I often work with kids that have a lot of difficulties with their parents.  That doesn’t mean that I know more than the parents, it just means that I’m separate from the issue so I have a different perspective.

That’s what it all comes down to: Perspective.

I recently read an article that is circling the interwebs about parents being their child’s expert.  This is so true.  Parents know their kids better than anyone and they know what is best for their little ones.  But if I may add on to that wonderful article: sometimes parents are stuck inside the cycle and sometimes they can’t see what’s just above them, or just around the corner and they need just a shift.  Just another set of eyes or ideas.

They just need a different perspective. 

I have used a parent coach myself because I have been in the same place that all parents have been in. Things were tough, I couldn’t see an end to it.  I needed help.

The coach was able to point me in the right direction and get me out of the hole that I was in and it was so helpful.

It takes a village to raise a child.

We see so many signs pointing to parent intuition, “you can do this mama!” and that you are the expert in your child.  All of that is SO true, but it doesn’t mean that we need to be islands in the ocean of parenting.  Ask your neighbor for help.  Call your mother-in-law and see if she can give a different perspective.  Call a parent coach.  And if you disagree with every single one of them then you can laugh at their advice.  But maybe, just maybe, they will have a different idea on how to solve the problem that will re-frame the whole situation.

My children aren’t perfect, nobody’s children are perfect.  We are all in this together!