“It’s OK to have feelings but does he have to ignore me and be ungrateful after all I do?“ (mother Sally, 3 children)
Sally reported her daily schedule of waking up kids, feeding them, preparing them, driving them, planning for them. The list was exhaustive and quite familiar. How is it that I signed up to do everything and I don’t seem to recall a simple thank you or I love you for it? she exclaimed.
We explored looking at “goodness of fit” deciding where she had permission to ask for help, to delegate tasks to the children, and what she wanted to do. She also had some homework to explore how she was praised in her life. Did she need recognition, hugs, a reward, or was her job a reward enough?
We also discussed options for Sally to articulate her own needs and especially how to ask for her children to show gratitude.
All her efforts did not need to be unnoticed. Her children could learn to appreciate rather than expect.
Sally would ask her children to say, “thank you” when she made them food. She would ask them to pick up their own clothes not as a chore, but rather, as a way to contribute and show respect to their belongings. The family collectively practiced, at the end of the day, thanking one another for setting up playdates, driving to practices, and listening to one another.
Do you know of a parent or child who could use support? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families to help navigate childhood and parenting. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.
Please Note: These stories are based on real moments but all names, ages, and identifying information has been changed to ensure confidentiality and safety for all individuals involved. The events are a composite of related scenarios used to illustrate the work; bringing understanding to the benefits of supporting children through a mind/body connection.