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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

What's stopping you?

I am a parent coach, rather than a life coach. Translation: my training is more geared toward helping with situations -- difficult and otherwise -- that pertain to parenting. That said, I believe some big decisions and making a change of any sort all fall into one category: hard things to do.

I have a great sympathy for those in the face of big decisions or behavior change. This kind of thing is a hard thing to surmount. You have factors to weigh, attitudes to sway, perhaps new behaviors to master. Big, life-changing stuff. Add to that taking into consideration the will and view of others around you and affected by what you may decide or change. Again, big, life-changing stuff. I do not, however, have much patience for those who hem and haw and don't make a change or take action because it's (insert whiny voice here) hard and difficult and I just don't know if I can do it. No. You want to know what is stopping you? You. You are the one coming up with excuses. Yup. It's hard. Yup, it'll take time. Yup, you will back-slide sometimes and you will probably not like it at times and want to quit. Yup, probably those around you will not like it at first because change is cifferent and change doesn't fit as well ... At least at first. But you know what? When your new thing becomes the normal thing, it DOES fit.

Making a parenting change is hard. Not only do you have to learn new habits, but you have to get your kids to learn and adjust to your new habits. Say, for example, you realize you don't like how much screen time your kids are having. Say, you want to change it to less time, or to sharing that time with you while on the screen. What's going to happen when you announce your new normal? I foresee a bit of backlash, whining, and complaining, if your children are at all like typical offspring. I foresee potential tantrums, nagging, back talk and borderline rude behavior. What are you going to do in the face of this sort of adversity? How much do you believe in your new plan? Think about why you want the new plan in the first place. Is it important enough to dig through this (insert rude word here) behavior? You bet it is. So what do you need to keep your resolve strong? What do you need to foster yourself when the going gets rough? These are critical questions to ask yourself BEFORE you start making a change. You need to get your arsenal ready before you go to battle ... Because believe me, it will feel a little bit like a war zone at times.

So let's look at what is stopping you. Why are you making excuses? Is there something you are afraid of? Is this a change you don't really want? Are there other things that are deserving of your attention right now so you can't focus as you might like/need to? Are your motivations for change not honest with your core values? Oh, I know your plate is full -- aren't we all over-booked and stretched in a dozen different directions? I'm a champion list-maker, and have found that when I feel overbooked, taking the time to prioritize what I have on my plate helps me to get things done: I can see what I should focus on first, and then second, etc, in a much more clear light. Trying the half-ass a change in your life is not going to make any new habits stick. You owe it to yourself to do it right, save it for a time when you CAN focus in it, or don't do it at all.

I've talked about change a few times. Partly because change is all around us, and how we respond to it is an important predictor of your mental state (you are in charge, you make things happen for yourself. Rather than things happening TO you), and partly because what do children do besides change change change every single day. Don't keep yourself for making the changes you see being an improvement in your (and your children's) life. Stop stopping yourself. I know you can do it.

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