24 Jul 3 lessons I learned about flexibility as a parent
My children and I are in the midst of our summer traveling in East Coast. We just spend two weeks in Vermont with aunt, uncle, and grandparents and now we are back to Massachusetts with grandparents and aunt Sandra.
We spend our days with horses, playing in the garden with the dog and chickens. Because we are not tracking our time, we often had late dinner, dessert treats, movie, bedtime almost every night.
At first, I found myself unease and feeling tense about not following rules and rhythms we had home and find myself in “conflict” situations with families about those standards sometimes. 🙂
What is the best for everyone, I thought?
I struggled with thoughts and finally let myself sunk into that tension and just meditate. I asked myself, what is the significant experience my children and I would like to experience together.
I realized that creating happy family memories and deepening connection is what I want and more flexible summer rules on treats, screen time and bed time would support that.
Like many parenting decisions, there is not an easy way to know the effect of the decisions until later. However, I feel good about allowing the flexibility and that I can relax and be at the moment and co-create the memories together.
Memories such as having dinner together on the porch when the sun was setting while playing music in the background. We ate, laughed and danced.
Serving grandpa deserts with molasses cake topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
Coincidentally I also found this article in Wall Street Journal regarding bending rules for parents.
It says that when parents are flexible about rules on occasion, children relish the departure from routine, and there is value in bending the rules of raising children.
I held different opinions from some of the examples in the article. However, the article shows me to see the benefit of disruption. It also allows me to be light about my parenting mistakes.
Like many things in life, parenting is not just a black and white thing. It is a moment to moment experience.
My reflection from my time in Vermont and the article:
1. Important of allowing myself to be flexible: I realize that flexibility allows me to stay away from self-judgement and be more at the moment.
2. Deeper appreciation of rules: Rules are helping us to behave in certain ways that are respective of everyone who involved. However, when we can stay with the essence of why or where the rules come from, it frees us from the dogma and allows us to follow what feels right moment to moment.
3. Making parenting decisions are intense when the situation involved charged emotions or challenge my personal values or family rules. One important lesson I learned is that I need to be at peace with the uncertainty that comes with decision making and embraces the fears of the possibility of making mistakes.
Before I sign off, here is the link to the article:
Why is good to bend rules ?