New York City 157 300x225 POSITIVE PARENTING   CHANGEI was told many years ago that the only constant in life is change. This change could take two forms. There is physical change which involves things like putting on different clothes every day, moving from one place to another (this could include going to work or leaving one town for another) or it could involve the weather (sunny today and cloudy tomorrow). This type is something that we deal with regularly and is something that we accept usually with no resistance. After all we would look very silly if we wore the same clothes every day (this does not include those who have to wear a uniform as part of their job) or if we didn’t go to work how would we pay our bills. Watching the weather report will tell us if we need to carry our umbrella or leave it at home.

The other type of change involves our mental and/or our emotional well being. As a positive parent, I find that it is this type that gives me the greatest challenge. Just as with the physical, it is very easy to get complacent with the way that I am thinking.  I have found that the older I get, I feel that there is no reason for me to think about doing things differently. My sound thinking has gotten me this far, so there is no need for me to change.

It’s been almost 20 years since I had a drink or a drug. I can remember during those early days hearing those who had this similar experience tell me that in order for me to stay sober and clean, I had to change the way I was thinking. It was hard for me to imagine that I could go a day without having to participate in that destructive behavior. As time has gone on, I have found that those folks were right and that I could live a more productive life. It seems that with every year that goes by I have found something that I needed to think differently about.

After 5 years I felt it was time to stop smoking. I used the same principles that I used to stop drinking and drugging. It was during this process that I came to understand how my emotional well being played an important role in my life. Over these years I developed a practice of being aware of what my emotional state was. I found that I was more prone to act out (this means doing something that is not productive) when my emotions were out of control. When I found myself in an emotionally charged situation, I had to make a decision. Is being involved in this going to cause me to act out? If I found that if it was, I do have the power to walk away. There can never be anything more important for me than remaining on this path of positive living.

You are probably asking yourself “What does this have to do with positive parenting?” The answer is everything. I have the experience to know that my kids watch me a lot closer than they listen to me. I have to demonstrate for them when it is necessary for them to change the way they think. They have to understand that changing their thinking is not always a result of something negative. This change can help launch their creativity. It is also important for them to see that their emotional balance is just as important. We hear of many times when someone has done some act (horrific or just silly) that could have been avoided, had they been more in tune with their emotional state. They must learn that these changes are just as important as what they are going to wear today.

When I first stopped drinking and drugging, those who had more experience with sobriety and cleanliness used to recite a very interesting prayer. It’s called the Serenity Prayer and it goes like this “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”


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