When my child was fourteen-months-old, she had an aversion to shoes and preferred “walking” everywhere on her knees. I worried that she’d still be using this unconventional form of migration to cross the stage at her high school graduation. But alas, my once knee-shuffling child now has no problem wearing shoes and walks on her feet. (She sometimes even sprints … to the ice cream truck.)
When child was two, she was painfully shy and her bottom lip actually quivered if another child even looked at her the wrong way. I worried that she would always be overly sensitive and unable to stand up for herself. But alas, my once shy and introverted daughter is now a social butterfly (as described by her teacher) who often steps forward to stand up for those who are unable to stand up for themselves.
When my child was three, she had an extreme fear of dogs. I worried that she would continue to hyperventilate in the presence of any furry, four-legged creature. But alas, my once pooch-fearing child is now a great pet sitter for our neighbors and especially loves walking the dogs.
When my child was four, she had a disdain for forks and preferred eating everything with her hands. I worried that she would forever gnaw on her food like a caveperson. But alas, my once hands-on eater is now complimented on her polite table manners whenever she has dinner with family friends.
When my child was five, she couldn’t ride a bike and had no interest in doing so.
I worried that she would experience years of ridicule if she did not acquire this skill when all the other neighborhood children did. But alas, my once exclusive walker now takes bike rides with friends—the same friends who learned to ride far earlier than she did.
Are You Robbed of Today?
When my child was six, I saw a pattern of parental worry—needless parental worry. It occurred to me that much of what I worried about had a way of working out in time—in my child’s own time. And by living in a state of worry, I was robbing myself of the gifts of today.
My perspective of parenting changed when I wrote down these painful truths about Worry:
- Worry can remove you from the most beautiful moments of your life … as if you aren’t even there.
- Worry can steal meaningful experiences right from your memory bank … as if they didn’t even happen.
- Worry can prevent you from experiencing happiness, passion, and joy … as if you merely existed, rather than truly lived.
Replace Worry with Trust
Worry took plenty of my moments that matter; therefore, I refuse to give Worry any more of them. Now when I begin to go down the path of worry, I stop myself by saying one word: Trust.
- Trust that worrying will do nothing to change the outcome.
- Trust that my child will be where she needs to be in her own time.
- Trust that things will work out as they should.
And when I choose to focus on all that is going right in my life and let go of that which I cannot control, I am free to live more and love more in the precious day at hand.
How does worry rob you of precious moments with your children? What worries you the most? How might you let go to live more and love more?
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations
Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.