One of the greatest gifts our daughters’ wise and beloved preschool teacher gave our family long, long ago is the concept of “big feelings.” It’s kind of like a child’s version of being verklempt, that sense of feeling overcome with emotion, but often not knowing why or what to do about it. The nifty thing about it is that my husband and I quickly appropriated it as well. Big feelings don’t stop with puberty or even adulthood. All through life we have “big feelings” that we don’t know quite how to handle, and the gift is in giving ourselves permission to have them. I’m not advocating full-blown meltdowns or tantrums, but rather just allowing our children, and ourselves, the psychic space to be sad, upset, angry, moody, to be heard if that’s validating, or to have room to be left alone to simply FEEL. Healthy catharsis is underrated…
If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I could hear the screams from my daughter’s bedroom echoing down the hall. “I got in, I got in!” She just learned she was accepted early decision to Duke University. It has been her dream school for over two years, and she put all her emotional eggs in that one basket, even knowing that it is one of the most competitive schools in the country and one that doesn’t have a history of accepting kids from her high school. I must admit that, despite fiercely believing she deserved to be admitted anywhere she applied, I had my doubts about her getting in, knowing what a crap shoot college admissions can be. I’d even asked the school psychologist just a week or so ago at a PTO meeting, “How can we be prepared to help our kids if they don’t get into colleges they have their hearts set on?”
Her advice was simple and confirmed my own instincts:
Saturday, December 1, 2012
I’m really not one of those people who shouts at the TV. Or at least I haven’t been until now. But there’s something about the folks on “Parenthood” that really push my buttons. I like the show. It’s topical, dealing with a lot of real situations families often confront on a daily basis, and it’s one of the few shows my daughter and I actually make time to watch together. That’s why it’s seems so out of character for me to be verbally berating the main family figures and their unfortunate foibles. “Ooh, bad call,” I moan
at 3:10 PM