When you’re new to parenting, or even an experienced parent, you may fall into the trap of using other people as your barometer. You may see an experienced parent doing XYZ thing with their kids and feel bad that you’re not doing it the same way. Or perhaps you base your success on how your children act.

As I’ve said many times before on our podcast, you only have control over your side of the street. Unfortunately, people easily forget this. They are quick to jump to worrying and putting pressure on themselves. The problem is that as you put pressure on yourself to perform well, you will begin placing more pressure on your kids — an abnormal amount, different from ordinary stressors like schoolwork or the rigors of extracurricular study in the arts or sports. This pressure isn’t going to create more success. It’s going to make everybody frustrated!

You must always remind yourself that your children, even older kids, teens, and young adults, are experiencing being alive for the first time. They don’t know how to do all the things, so they’re going to mess up a lot. Even if they’ve done something right 1000 times before, they might mess up again! And that’s okay! In addition, they feel the full gamut of emotions, and they haven’t yet learned any strategies for identifying and controlling those emotions. So it’s not realistic or fair to yourself OR to your children to use their behavior as your metric for success.

You want to see more successes? Take the pressure off of yourself, and take the pressure off of your kids. It is a joyous way to live.

Remember: you’ve got this!

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