Mirror, mirror on the wall…. We all know how the story of Snow White and the mirror. The Queen asks the magical mirror a question and it responds by her exactly what she wanted to hear, until Snow White came along. Today, it is the voice in our head that speaks through the mirror, critically pointing out all our physical details we are unhappy with. But what if there are other mirrors in our daily lives, sending us messages we are missing?
We expertly organize our days so that we can fit everything in and often there is no room for things to go any other way than according to plan. It will all work out IF everything runs smoothly. Of course, there are always the external factors, like traffic or delays for one reason or another, but what happens when it’s your children who create the obstacle? This is a mirror moment.
What is it about your child that is “creating” the obstacle? Can you look in your child’s mirror and see what they are seeing in this moment? Is it that they don’t want to do it in the first place? If you have ever had a child that has played a team support, you’ve seen the child that is out there just because their parent wants them to play. This child could care less about the game, half-heartedly participates in practice and spends the game asking “When is it going to be over?” or “What did you bring for snack?” As parents, we think we know what is best, without ever checking in with our child to ask them. I started asking my son when he was four years old what he wanted (or didn’t want) to do. You may think that is too young, but he definitely had an opinion. Allowing him to choose and make the decision to participate ahead of time made world of difference in his enthusiasm towards the activity.
What if we look in the child’s mirror and we’re not able to determine their point of view? Not every situation is that cut and dry, maybe it’s not one singular activity. Maybe your day with your child resembles more of a constant tug-of-war. Children have been described as mirrors, reflecting back to the parent. Usually we say our child is like looking in a mirror because of physical traits – they look like us or they have our mannerisms or our physical abilities. But what if our children are reflecting our character traits back to us in a way we don’t recognize? Maybe it is us who is the actual cause of the resistance within our children? At first, this may be hard for us to see in the reflection. We are certainly doing things the best we can, but we must be willing to step back and ask ourselves “how am I contributing to this situation?”
There is always going to be some resistance, that is just life, but what happens when we look in the mirror for the answer? We may not like the answer that the mirror tells us, but it often offers us the best solution to overcoming the resistance. The mirror also reminds us that our children are not the only ones that are growing.
Are you working through a similar parenting struggle? I currently have 2 openings in my 90-day, one-on-one, Parent Coaching Workshop and would love for you to fill one of those spots. Message me or comment below and I can fill you in on all the details.
I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.