I'm working with my kids on taking responsibility for many more things than they ever have been before (and I will tell you, this is not going smoothly with Kelton but I am sticking to my guns. I believe his line the other night was "I used to have such a good life. Why are you making it sooooooo hard now?" Yes child - picking up your OWN clothes and putting them in the laundry without being reminded Every. Single. Day. and closing your dresser drawers and making your own bed is just sucking all the ease out of your life. It must be sooooooo hard. Just wait until I pull out the learning to make some of his own snacks and loading his dishes into the dishwasher and from there....CHORES. I can hear the drama already.).
But be that as it may....I'm also exhausted trying to make sure certain grown adults in my life feel ok about...well.....everything. Listen closely: I have all I can handle with my own stuff. I need you to buck up and be ok that I am not going to be the one to make you feel better. Spend time with you and have fun? Sure. Coddle you with responses you expect and crave? No. I will be honest with you about how I feel and when I don't want to do or say something, I am not going to. I would expect no less from you.
Didn't I make this clear in my resolutions for the year? I'm pretty sure I did. It's all about getting to know who *I* am. That takes time and energy and honestly, I'd rather spend my energy that way instead of making sure you are ok. But anyway....this article from the Love and Logic Newsletter is perfect.
Are You Worn-Out and Stressed?
Do you ever find yourself completely exhausted and stressed with all of the problems that bombard you on a daily basis? I've recently found myself feeling crushed under the weight of the many burdens whirling around me. Why? Simply because I've forgotten how much fuel is required to run a helicopter on a daily basis.
Yes! I tend to be a helicopter parent, a helicopter boss, a helicopter spouse, etc. It's nobody's fault except mine. Deep within me is the burning desire to make sure that no one I know suffers from any sort of unhappiness, disappointment or disgust.
Listening to our audio, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants, I was reminded that trying to rescue our kids from all of life's challenges burns us out and creates kids who don't believe that they have what it takes to be successful in life. I also realized that this very same principle applies to rescuing our spouses, friends, etc. It doesn't take long for us to run out of fuel and crash to the ground.
The single most powerful tool for combating this tendency is to memorize the following:
Oh, no. That's got to feel ___________.
What do you think you are going to do?
The next time someone else’s problem comes your way, experiment with saying these words with sincere empathy. Simply fill in the blank with whatever emotion you're guessing the person is feeling. Then give suggestions while allowing the person to own and solve his or her problem.
To make sure that your helicopter stays grounded, listen to Helicopters, Drill Sergeants and Consultants. This product is now available as an MP3 download—no waiting, no shipping fees!
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay