Most of the tension we encounter starts with expectation. We seek to bend reality to match our expectation.
And when it doesn’t bend, we become disillusioned.
We crave that control. Of knowing what will happen. And of matching what we perceive will be vs. what actually is.
Ironically, kids turn the notion of control on it’s head.
I always prided myself on being so calm, cool and collected.
And when it was only me I had to focus on controlling, it was manageable. I could suppress my emotions and expectations. I could control most of the unexpected.
And now with kids? It’s a roller coaster. It’s a constant tug between expectations and reality.
I want my children to be well-behaved, not interrupt others, and get along nicely.
That tension between what I want versus what actually happens causes so much frustration.
Control is what I sought.
But kids tend to teach you how little control you have. From moment to moment, things happen. They push each other. They fall down. They get hurt. They spill their lemonade all over the carpet.
And when we can seek to control every moment the tension builds.
The other alternative is we can just let it be. Let go of the control.
And sit with the tension.
Realize we are more powerless than we think.
Our job isn’t to control them. It’s to let them be.
To let them figure out what’s right, by venturing into things that are wrong.
Pushing them to live on the edges by letting them be free. Let them fall down and get hurt.
We can’t control who they are or who they become.
Don’t build up the expectation.
Just let them be.
And the tension will melt away.