The image I want to convey to you this week is that of baggage fees. Last summer we flew more than usual, but much of it was on Southwest Airlines, the carrier that (so far) does not charge for checked bags. We have come to understand and (somewhat) accept fees for checked luggage on most airlines now. Do we recognize and accept that same fee for baggage in our lives?
Researchers and psychiatrists, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale in which that attempted to quantify the stress caused by various events in our lives, positive and negative. As you may know, even things we enjoy, such as buying a new home or car, can add stress.
Too much of this stress, baggage, has a cost. We now know from MRI studies that the same regions of the brain are stimulated whether pain is physical or emotional. Therefore the term "painful breakup" is exactly on target. Our children experience that too, when they have a disagreement with a friend, earn a poor grade, or even just come to school late.
As parents we need to recognize the first thing we can do is to be healthy ourselves. Secondly we can try to provide our children with a home as stable as possible. And third we have to recognize that little things will happen to them, and they will learn from these experiences how to handle life. If they have a friend problem, one of the worst things we can do it to try to "fix" it for them. That actually screams of their inadequacy. Instead we can serve as their sounding board and advisor, assuring them of our love. They will try various strategies and learn on their own as humans have for thousands of years.
Baggage? Don't try to carry theirs, but also don't load them with ours.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal