To continue with our analogy in Part 1, we need to remove the banana skin. And the banana skin is the thought. Firstly, if you keep thinking, “Oh Johnny never appreciates me,” do you honestly know that is true? Are you in his head, composing his thoughts? And can Johnny, who has not yet experienced parenthood, understand how parenting can at times feel like sweatshop labour?

Secondly, if you feel that your child’s behaviour towards you is beginning to compromise who you really are, then you need to regain control of your life. Just as you set boundaries for the child to ensure his well-being, you need to do the same for yourself. You cannot give of your best if you sacrifice your own well-being in the service of others.

There’s a simple response to unreasonable demands and it begins with ‘No’ followed by a brief factual and fair explanation which underlines respect for yourself. And it goes without saying that consistency in your attitude removes confusion.

And thirdly, children do need to explore. Curiosity and imagination are essential in life, so if their antics are not negatively impacting on themselves or others, let them be.

Now back to the ‘banana skin’ thought. Is it really Johnny who is not appreciating you or are you not appreciating yourself? Change that now, by valuing, respecting and loving yourself. And the thought, along with the stress it causes you, will leave you.

As for my original question at the beginning of Part One…

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so..” William Shakespeare

 

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