Espresso Shot 39: As Happy As You're Least Happy Child?

November 27, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 39
Espresso Shot 39: As Happy As You're Least Happy Child?
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Show Notes Transcript

A powerful journaling prompt for you this week! Do you really need to carry the devastation and angst or sadness of your least happy child when they are in it? Nicoa reflects on a conversation with her client AND her history as a younger mother raising three, and now six, kids! Listen in to the VALUE of allowing ourselves to step back and set down our kids! What do YOU think?

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Nicoa Coach:

sometimes don't, you just need a quick moment of inspiration. Or maybe you just need a moment of caffeinated contemplation to reflect on life. That's the idea behind my weekly coffee with Nicola espresso shots, I'll be sharing short jolts of inspiration in each clip, in addition to my longer Coffee with Nicoa interview episodes, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an espresso shot, or a full length Coffee with Nicoa interview created just for you. Hey, guys, Nicoa here coming to you from the banks of Whiskey Creek. This is your weekly espresso shot. And I just want to talk a little bit about this phrase, I was actually having a coaching session with a top executive just moments ago. And in that conversation, we were talking about our relationships with our children. And she was in particular talking about learning boundaries with her own child and trying to help her help herself. And we came across that phrase together, they say, you know, you're as happy as your least happy child, you're only as happy as your least happy child. Now, I used to really believe this. And I really thought about it a lot after we hung up because she and I agreed that you know what, wait a minute. Maybe that's not what's supposed to be happening at all. You're only as happy as your least happy child. Well, my God, how attached? Are you to your kid? And does that make you a bad mother if you're not unhappy when they are unhappy? Okay. Let's roll this back just a second. So I'm not telling you not to care when your child is unhappy. And I'm not telling you not to care when your child is struggling. I mean, we do think about our children constantly for those of us who have kids. And maybe for those of us who even have four legged children, are you thinking about your pet your kid your obligations all the time? And are you confusing carrying with carrying? Now we've talked about that before. But the more you carry, the less strength and less hmm, ah, well being you have. So let's just keep some things in mind. We cannot protect our children from negative experiences, nor should we, I mean, really ponder this, your kids going to have unhappy things happen to them. And they're going to be upset, and they're going to be frustrated, and they're not going to know how to figure their way through this life sometimes. And we can't always fix it. Now there is a history of helicopter parents. And as I like to say I was more of the snowplow parent, let me move everything out of your way. The lawn mower parent, let me just go ahead and clear that space for you. Let me make the introduction, let me make sure that email sounds exactly as it should, right. So I'm a little bit attached to my kids having an easier path than me. Now, that's one way in many ways to support our kids, when they're in distress is trying to clear the path or, you know, fly in and try to fix it for them. And that's usually what parents feel like they're supposed to be doing. But I want us to really step back and recognize that that may not be the best thing for our children. So what is the best thing for our children? Sometimes we fix things. And sometimes we show them what already having figured it out looks like. So when I'm resilient, or maybe I share a story about something similar that happened to me and how I overcame it, that might allow my children to observe something that is solutionary. Something that is is an example of figuring it out. But I might also remind them that in that space of discomfort that they're feeling, I might remind them of how I felt to so that they can recognize that their feelings are normal. Maybe they're scared about something, maybe they're sad, maybe they're grieving, maybe they're really embarrassed and disappointed about something. Instead of me going in and telling them it's going to be okay, and not to worry. And this too shall pass. Maybe I tell them and that's pretty normal. And I remember when I felt those emotions, too. So maybe you can be with your least happy child in a space of acknowledging those emotions. But it doesn't mean you have to pick them up too, and be unhappy with them. I hope you're pondering this, you know, because what will really teach our children coping mechanisms when they are in distress? me helping them solve it, or me creating a safe space for them to be in it? And maybe it's not solving. Maybe I need to simply say, Gosh, what are you going to do? What do you think? What's possible in this situation for you? I'm not you. Now. I often show Go when I have these epiphanies and I share these espresso shots, especially related to my children, because I know they listen. And I know they're probably thinking, damn, Mom, how come you didn't do that? I wish you do that for me more often? Well, I'm not telling you, it's easy. And I know that the first instinct as a parent is to try to fix it. And I really am good at it. Even remember, getting it wrong when I was a younger parent wants to have my kids were on the stairs at our house in Raleigh. And they were having a knock down, drag out argument about something. And I happen to walk past the stairs, I came in the front door and walked past the stairs. And they were fighting. And I looked up, and they both got to a point in the argument. And then they both just looked at me. And they were looking to me to give an opinion. And I knew it, I knew that my tendency would have been to say, you know, I won't. Well, I'll just use Dave's justice. Don't say that to your sister. Or Pippa, why did you react that way? Why don't the two of you just ABC? Right? I would that would be Nikolas. overachiever, controlling tendency, because my deepest need in most of my life has been to try to find the peace. Can we just be all happy? Can we just be happy. And it didn't always give access to my children to be unhappy and be mad, because I always wanted it to go away. And in that moment, I'm so proud of myself. I looked at the two of them. Clearly, I have been pondering this, this tendency of mine for a hot minute. And I said, What are you looking at me for? I'm sure the two of you can figure this out. And I walked away. And I remember thinking, Man, that was really hard. But I did it. And the more I learned to do that, and trust them, then they began to trust themselves. And they didn't need me to fly in or clear the way. And even now, you know, even with their college applications. I often said to them, can I read it? Can I read your essay? We should let me read it. Let me help you. And they learned early on in their relationship with their mother, that they didn't always want my help. And they had permission to say no. And I'm so proud of them. They wrote it themselves. They had their own personal opinions. Clearly, they were probably writing about me, says the insecure mother. But at the end of the day, I learned that I didn't have to carry my kids even when they were going through something difficult. Whether it's writing that essay, or having an argument, or even becoming so disappointed and embarrassed about a circumstance in their life. And that has served them well and it serves me even better. I hope this is something you'll ponder, pull out those pins in those journals. And I'll talk to you next time. Thanks for listening. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an espresso shot or a full length Coffee with Nicoa interview created just for you.


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