a lesson for your kids

Sixteen years and 6 days ago, I hobbled in pain down the 7th floor hallway at Cornell Presbyterian Hospital in NYC and read a sign that said, “the days are long but the years are short.”

That’s so cliché, I thought. Right?

Wrong.

Holy smokes has that one little phrase turned out to be true.

Why?

Because just like that, I blinked and my twin girls turned 16 this week. The ol’ sweet sixteen. And double it, 16 + 16? It’s like 32 years of parenting.

I remember the moment they were handed to me, one after the other, not an easy birth, but a joyful one (proving we forget the pain of childbirth through some sort of hormone that releases once that baby enters the world, but that’s another post…)



This post is about raising kids and remembering this cliched truth. It helps me stay present, let go of the small stuff and appreciate the seconds of the minutes of the days they are in my world.

Here is another truism their preschool director said to a room full of us new parents when my twins were only 3.

“Always remember they are not giving you a hard time, they are having a hard time.”

This is still true at 16!

It’s the thing I come back to saying as my personal silent mantra when I try to make sense of their worries or when I make their struggles all about me.

It’s not about me!

Remember how hard it was to be a teenager??

Multiply that “hard” times 100 snap chats. Add in several Instagram posts and then make the exponent some impossible college admissions requirements.

Now do you feel for them?

I have worked as a parenting expert for over 15 years and the thing that strikes me the most is how easy it is for us to project what we wanted in our own lives onto our kids.

Or how quickly we jump to conclusions about what’s best for our kids based on what is best for us.

Here is the thing:

We need to keep them safe and loved. We need to guide them and hold their hearts, and allow them to feel seen and heard.

After that, what they do and what makes them tick is part of their journey. What we offer after that is like icing on their cake.

What’s more? Your kids – at every age – will watch what you do WAAAAAY more than they will listen to what you say.

This is yet another lesson to live your own life the way you aspire them to be! Show gratitude to the waiter or waitress! Exercise daily! Live with purpose.

And have your own fun. Play more, rest more, show up to your own life more fiercely.

I promise this is what your kids want for you. My girls are right here next to me asking me to tell you that!



Your kids are happy when you are happy.

Now go grab your kid, give a smooch, make sure they’re safe, and then go have fun. Ideally with them.

Because while the days can be loooooong, those years?

They are too damn short.

With fierce love,
Alison
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