Pain Management Centre For Dads – One Secret Every Father Should Know
By Donovan Grant
The pain of being a parent is good for you. Yes, you read that right. Pain is good for you.
Now before you flip the switch and move onto something a bit more “practical”, please allow me to expand on that.
In its simplest level, pain is a sensation we feel in our bodies that indicates we have been hurt in some way. A recent example of this was when I walked into my son’s bedroom in the dark and trop on one of his spiky metal toys in my bare feet. “Ouch!” That was pain alright and you may have shared a similar experience too.
You will know that pain can come in many forms; back pain, chest pain, headaches, etc; what we want you to focus on today is a type of emotional pain. With this type there are no cuts or bruises visible on the outside of your body, it’s all on the inside.
Many parents suffer the emotional pain of raising children every day. This may seem a bit drastic, but when you carry the torch to help a child to be healthy, safe and happy, this does takes its toll on parents. Now we all know that parenting is not meant to be easy. In fact anyone that wrote that book needs to change the title because even with the best children and all the resources in the world parents still worry about raising successful kids.
Have you ever thought that the more parents worry about children is the more children get annoyed with their parents. That’s right; while we are striving to give them the best possible start in life, at some point many children (most often adolescent teens) get downright annoyed with all the attention. Being an annoying parent is painful. Have you been there?
Now I will be the first to raise my hand as say “I haven’t got it right every time as a dad.” In fact let me just say out loud “I am not a perfect parent!” BTW, I have tried perfection before and it is definitely overrated. Do I hear an “hallelujah” or is that an “amen?”
Sometime we have to make decisions that seem to be in the best interests of our children. And some decisions turn out to be more painful that we imagined they would be. I remember sitting down with my kids for hours forcing them to “get it” when they were struggling with maths or science at school. And I’ve made sure they keep attending leisure activities rather than quit because they “find it boring now”. Oh have you ever innocently embarrassed your teen in front of their friends trying to be the cool mum or dad? Yes, I have done that too.
These little slip ups are painful moments and we can live to regret them. Why is it painful? Well the thing I’ve found in 22 years as a dad is that people change. You people change and yes, so do us older people too. Things that were once funny, amusing and interesting can become annoying to our maturing next generation.
What’s it like when you upset your teen without realising it?
This happened in our house a little while back. Just imagine the pain of hearing through your spouse that your teen daughter is not talking to you at the moment! “Your daughter is not happy with you.”
One whole day of communicating through my wife was a very painful challenge. But the worst bit was that I was not sure what I had said or done to cause this. When you know that this particular daughter is normally a lively ever smiling blessing to us all, she had to be in pain.
The analytical in me wanted to find out what it was all about. My daughter had never done this before and I just wanted to give her a big hug and soothe her worries.
Mum’s investigations discovered that “dad has been annoying me” “and he’s not giving me enough room to prove that I can do what I say”, “he should know better because he’s a coach!”
You can imagine the thoughts of a parent facing this dilemma:
Was that how it seemed to her?
I was only trying to help?
Maybe I have been a bit too hard on her
How can I help her to move forward without being the annoying dad?
That evening was a very reflective one for me and I deeply considered what I could do to help. I sat and wrote a list of things including asking if she needs my help, giving her more space, trusting her to follow through on homework assignments, treating her as a mature young adult and not my youngest daughter and the list went on.
But the thing that bugged me most was not being able to talk to my daughter that night. The idea came to me to write her a letter. It was one page to my dear daughter and asked for forgiveness, and expressed the belief and love that we have for her. It also reminded her that “mum and dad only are only doing what we can to help you be happy and successful.” I placed the letter on her pillow so she would see it before going to bed that night.
The next morning, her smile and energy had returned and we were speaking again!
Parenting can be painful and so can growing up be painful too. My suggestion is to simply remember that each person has feelings, happiness, joy, fears and all the rest. Let’s keep this in mind and be open to new ways of raising our families for success. So what's the secret? Your children need you!
From my heart to yours,
What do you think? Are you investing time in managing the parenting pain? How do you use pain to help you? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com