After 30 years practicing pediatrics, I had a huge revelation. I figured out exactly why parents are so stressed all the time! While talking to a mother of three children and chatting about how to implement one of the principles in my new online program, a light went off.
You are stressed because you are micro-parenting not macro-parenting. What does this mean? Simply put, you spend so much time, energy and money on a multitude of small things with your child, that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture. If you stand back and tell yourself to look at the 25 year span of your child’s life, ask yourself what you really want to teach him. Who do you want him to become? When you do this, you’ll come up with a few things and I”ll bet you aren’t focused on any of them right now because you’re so busy! Here’s the truth: when you work hard at fewer big things in your child’s life (macro-parent) you don’t have to worry about the small stuff that keeps you aboard the Crazy Train. What kinds of things am I talking about?
First, you need to know what the three most important questions you must answer for your child are in order for him/her to be happy. Then, you must know how to answer them. But I’ll bet that you are spending time and money getting him/her to sports events, drama, dance, whatever- the “small” stuff. If you learn the three questions and answer them (this take a while) then you don’ t have to worry about your child being happy or successful.
Another macro-parenting principle is: teaching your child to be compassionate and empathetic. You do this by teaching him to be grateful and to serve others. How are you doing that right now? If you focus on these things, he’ll become a much happier adult than by doing travel hockey 12 months of the year.
I also know why you micro-parent: because your friends do and you don’t want your child to feel left behind. I get it. But let me tell you something else. If you shift your perspective and start macro-parenting, you are almost guaranteed to raise a happy, successful child.