Learning to Move with the Flow
“Our house is like a river: You’ve just got to get into the flow of it. And whatever you thought it was going to be, maybe it still can, but it’s going to have to work with what the day brings.”
– Kevin Costner
Parents, have you ever woken up with excitement for the day ahead with your kids? Perhaps you planned an outing, were going to cook or bake something together, or were simply looking forward to a fresh start from a challenging week of playing referee to your kids’ bickering. However, as the day progresses, you find your responsibilities mounting as you accommodate the unexpected. Your optimism fades. Why can’t things just go to plan?
We need to re-evaluate our expectations. Really, does any day ever go as perfectly or as seamlessly as planned? Rarely. And that is okay. When we relax our expectations, we make room to better exercise our flexibility in adjusting for the challenges of the day. Furthermore, when we adapt to our changing environment and “go with the flow”, we are immediately relieved of the pressure to meet the demands we have set for ourselves. Being flexible and adapting to the day’s challenges may mean you are 10 minutes late for a playdate because you had a spill in the car or will have to order pizza for dinner because you couldn’t get out to the grocery store. Learning to navigate each day with more flexibility and adaptability can benefit our children too! After all, we are our children’s most influential role models! Our children can also learn these important life skills just through observation.
So, as the quote above says, learn to move with the flow. It is possible the day will turn out as planned, but be prepared to demonstrate flexibility to attain your goals should you encounter barriers along the way. Be kind to yourself.
The takeaway: 1) Begin each day as a fresh start; leave yesterday’s back with yesterday. 2) Relax your expectations for the day; be prepared for the day to not go exactly as planned. 3) Be flexible and adaptable when daily challenges come your way. 4) Your children observe how you manage difficulties.
Written by Melissa Coyne-Foresi, MA, M.Ed, RSW North Counselling and Psychotherapy