Parenting by the Seat of Our Pants 12/3/17


Parenting By the Seat of Our Pants

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California

Parenting teens in today’s world is very much a “learn by doing” (or by the seat of our pants!) experience. As we approach the time of year for giving and receiving, we started wondering about the things we give to our children and families. After all the publicity for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday and the push to buy and give, we paused to reconsider what are absolute needs. We reminded ourselves of the difference between giving others “presence” and “presents,” recalling how fun it was to have “game nights” and “movie nights” (and how much easier they were to plan!) when they were little.

We found ourselves digging deep into the work of David Richo and finding comfort in his ideas. In The Five Things We Cannot Change and the Happiness we Find By Embracing Them (2006) he discusses and explains that there are certain things or “facts of life” that we cannot change. He calls them the “givens” of human existence: (1) Everything changes and ends, (2) Things do not always go according to plan, (3) Life is not always fair, (4) Pain is a part of life, and (5) People are not loving and loyal all the time.” His givens reminded us of a post by Karen Young, You Don’t Have to Have it All Figured Out’ – And Other Things I Want My Teen to Know (Hey Sigmund, 2017), that we thought was worth sharing with our kids.


In How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving (2002), he writes about the 5 A’s- Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, and Allowing. The A’s are the original needs that we all come into the world with and need to survive as they are also the ingredients of love. He says that intimacy is created when showing and receiving the 5 A’s. He says that most of adults have fears of the giving and receiving, which made us think about our kids. Our teens are learning so much at this stage. The social curriculum of school can be incredibly challenging, and our kids learn much of it on their own. Why Teenage Brains Are So Hard to Understand (Time, 2017) is a valuable read we recommend sharing with your tween, teen and young adult children.

We hope you can make time to enjoy tonight’s Holiday Parade. Wishing you a joyful December and celebrating being perfectly imperfect,