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Intensity in Parenting

You may have noticed that parenting can sometimes be an intense business, we squeeze our eyebrows together and squash our brain in effort, compressing ourselves to ‘get it right.’ The problem with all that squeezing and squashing is that we can easily become overwhelmed with the pressure of trying to show that we have all the answers. We try to look the perfect parent (what is that anyway?) and masterfully kid everyone that we have got it all under control. If we add to that burden the role of being the caring, sharing, ever listening, nurturing parent and then nimbly switching into discipline mode we can find that intensity looming ever closer.   


Do we go to that old chestnut of control - ‘I’m right and you’re wrong?’ Or ‘you have to do as I say’, or ‘it’s my way or the highway’.  


Perhaps this is the perfect moment to pull ourselves back from all of that intensity to see what is trying to pull all of that intensity in. 


To make this practical, have you ever considered that those around us may well want us to react? They may, on some level, enjoy watching us spin out in the intensity because it can give them the excuse to not be responsible for their behaviour. If we can press pause and step back for a moment to observe what is playing out, the magic of wisdom can emerge. Right and wrong doesn't get air time. What matters is there is a connection with the big and the small people in our lives, and we are decent and respectful to each other in those moments of disagreement or conflict.  


Pressing pause is like alchemy, it takes all the intensity and dissolves it giving space to see what is playing us all. By seeing it, then we see the ridiculousness of the intensity. When you sit and look at what is going on you can say “what the bleep??” it breaks the tension and helps us get back to the simplicity of what really matters. 

Let’s face it, how much does all of that intensity really matter? How valuable is it? Is it worth more than the relationship we have with each other?  


Bringing space and seeing the whole game being played, we stop feeding the intensity of parenting which is like feeding a monster at the zoo which will take as much as we are willing to give it. There is an equalness that is able to thrive between us that allows for a freedom in our expression without leaving decency and respect in another suburb. An intensity-free zone allows for laughing at ourselves, and life and sharing without needing or expecting anything back in return


By observing the intensity we recognise all the squeezing and squashing of our eyebrows and brain was not worth a speck of the effort. We can truly see the ridiculousness of the shenanigans.  

Image by Victoria from Pixabay


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