LIGHT THE FIGHT – Episode #8

This past weekend, some of our dearest friends from NYC came to visit us. Due to the pandemic, we took this reunion to the park at the top of the hill. And, while the kids were riding their ice blocks down the hill, Melanie and I were sitting at the top, our feet in the grass, talking about motherhood. I love her. She is the kind of friend that leaves me “full”. Do you know what I mean? She leaves me with more than I had. More to give, more to consider, more to love about my life.

Melanie told me about a podcast that she’s been listening to called Light the Fight. It’s a parenting podcast. So, I took some time looking through Light the Fight this weekend. I listened to several episodes, but I’m going to start with this one today, because it seemed immediately applicable. I like that. I like my needs to be met and my questions to be answered in real-time, if possible, you know.

Dave, the host, reads a letter from a mom who is so anxious about her daughter’s anxiety. “How do I help her??” is her plea, right? And I love his answer:

“SHE needs to find the best ways to help herself. I want you to start encouraging her to lead the way to her finding the best ways to overcome her anxiety.”

I love this because I believe this. And I love discussing this because, event thought I believe it, this is hard for me to do a lot of times. It’s hard for me to just walk with her. Peaceably.

“Come up with a plan for her to come up with a plan.”

Ella was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis a few months ago. Right away I started researching. There has got to be ways to manage this with diet, right? It’s inflammation. There are ways to manage inflammation. Many many researchers suggested going off of foods that cause inflammation: gluten, dairy, anything with lectins, etc. I talked to her about the research and she decided to drop gluten. And Ella was all in. All in. Until she was into the diet 24 hours.

The past 48 hour of her being off gluten have been really rough, for all of us. Let’s do some thoughtwork around this. What happened?

  • Me trying to find the best way to help her
    • I bought her GF flour, I looked up recipes, etc etc. And she was angry. Maybe it was hangry. But anger, like we discussed before, is just information. It’s just data. Data: Me doing this for her isn’t working.
  • Ella trying to find the best way to help herself
    • I spent some time discussing this podcast with Ella this afternoon. She has some great ideas on how to solve her own problem. And she is on google right now, doing her own research. And she’s thrilled. And, do you know what, that’s data, too. Data: Ella doing her own research surrounding her own problems is working.

It’s okay if this doesn’t come naturally.

“Find another animal that raises adolescence. …. It just doesn’t come naturally.”

Keep practicing. Keep talking to others. Keep praying and trying and then practicing some more. Practice letting her look at solutions to her problems. Practice looking at own problems – really looking at what I am struggling with, what thoughts are causing those emotions, and what actions are causing those results. It’s just data.

“If her anxiety is causing your anxiety, then YOU need to go read your own books. And she needs to read her books.”

My sister-in-law recently sent this statement to me about her and my brothers efforts as parents: “We’re not trying to create perfect kids and a perfect family. We are trying to create a safe place to learn, feel the Spirit, and practice what we’ve learned.”

How does living that statement change the way I show up in my home – in my relationships with my children? How does it change the way I show up in my own life and in my own struggles?