Posted Under: Health and Nutrition,Relationships
Last month, as the summer came to a close, I competed in a sprint triathlon with a great friend of mine. My first tri in 6 years, it was a blast and a real challenge. Flash back to early summer: I had already been training for the Portland to Coast Walk Relay, so I figured it would be a piece of cake to add a little biking, swimming and running to my workouts. OK, seriously, WHAT was I thinking?
One warm, sunny day, I cheerfully set out to ride my bike with my local tri buddies. I was able to keep up with them for the first couple of miles, but when they whizzed by and left me in the dust, I secretly wished for upcoming traffic lights to turn red, just to help me close the gap and save face. “Someone PLEASE tell me this will get easier!” I cried out pathetically to the oncoming traffic. A faint but reassuring voice responded, “It will. I promise. Hang in there.”
Roads of momentary desperation are familiar to most athletes and to virtually every parent who performs athletic feats of toddler chasing, child discipline, multi-tasking, and sleep-deprived decision making. The trick is to not get stuck in the quicksand of the moment. Here are a few ways to drive on and finish strong.
Use your remaining energy to preserve your sanity. As difficult as it seems, if you can look past the ugliness of the present, the Finish Line will come into view. Stop, breathe, and focus on five positive things about your life, your child, or your journey, and use those blessings to improve your attitude about the present challenge.
Refresh your perspective. A child’s tornado-like tantrum can feel like the end of the world, but in the big picture, it’s really just a momentary blip on the radar. Have faith, it will pass. Take precautionary measures to reduce the fallout by keeping your cool and remembering that you are not alone. Temper tantrums are an inevitable test of parental fortitude. Use a life line and phone a friend for help!
Don’t underestimate the abilities of your child. For months you labor in vain to teach your child to use his manners, tie his shoes, stop whining or stop interrupting. Despite your relentless efforts, it seems he will never get it right, and you’re just about to give up when, WHAMO! He executes the moves flawlessly. (Cue the resounding chorus of HALELUIAs). Many times a child’s inability to master a certain concept is not due to hard headedness, but rather young brain development. Be patient and keep planting those seeds. And be on the lookout for another sprout of maturity!