Take It Easy: What I learned About Parenting from The Eagles
I love music; listening, playing, and watching performances. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have some song stuck in my head, and I am notorious for getting random songs stuck in others’ heads (you’re welcome). Today, it’s Take it Easy by The Eagles.
As I was getting ready this morning, humming and singing along to the song in my head, the line “Lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand” stood out as a sound piece of advice for parenthood. I wouldn’t say The Eagles would be my go-to if looking for inspiration to get me through my tough parenting days, but just like so many of the parents I have worked with over the years, I am willing to take any good advice I can get.
Parenting is HARD…I know you have heard it and you have probably said it. It’s true, most things in life worth doing are a challenge! As parents, we are faced with the responsibility of teaching a new little being all the ways of the world, how to be a kind person, how to take care of our planet, modeling our family values, and exposing them to as many experiences as possible, all while swimming upstream against their own wants, dreams, and desires which many times do not align with the very important message we need to convey at that moment.
I remember thinking when my son was a newborn that “it can’t get worse than this, once he is sleeping through the night, it will be better.” (Hahahaha) Then there was teething, increased independence, age three, developing personality, defiance, starting school, refusing school, back-talk, questioning everything and he’s only 7. I now look back at those days of getting up in the middle of the night (which still happens, hello nightmares) and think that those were the EASY days! I talk about perspectives a lot in my work with parents and families. How to change them, and why we should, and the shifts that just happen naturally as we gain more knowledge and experience. When I get a chance to talk to more seasoned parents either professionally or personally, I hear a lot of the same themes, the challenges of parenthood change as our children age, but there is never a time in the future that is guaranteed to be any better, easier, or more fulfilling than the time we have RIGHT NOW! That’s where The Eagles come in.
Do we all just need to learn to “lighten up, and take it easy?” In my opinion, yes! We are all so busy teaching, showing, and rearing that we may forget to just ENJOY our children and ourselves as parents. It’s really not all so serious, I promise. We can find ways every day to CHOOSE to enjoy the moments of parenting and make of those what we will. It’s easy to get stuck in patterns of believing parts of any situation are all good or all bad and forget that we are the ones assigning those values!
Reframing is an amazing tool that can help us lighten up and just enjoy connecting with our children. Is your child stubborn and frustrating, or is she independent and a natural leader? Is he slow in the morning and unfocused, or is he taking time to just be in the moment, getting his own needs met for downtime, playtime or freedom? I would encourage you to look behind the behavior and when you can, just take it easy. The days are long, and the years are short. “Lighten up while you still can….we will never be here again.”
I would love to hear thoughts and comments. If you would like to learn more about managing challenging behaviors in your child or yourself, send me a message to s