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Blessed Are The Flexible Parents…

Flexible Parenting

…For they shall not break in half when they are faced with unexpected change and challenges.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a lesson I’m working on right now.  I’m sure many of you have had periods of time when just staying upright took all the energy you had.  When the winds of change come, they often come at gale force.  Will you bend or will you break?

Since I’m in this mode right now, I’ll share of few of the mini-lessons I’ve learned along the way.  Please, if you have any key mini-lessons you’ve gleaned through difficult times of change, please add in the comments below.

1.  When you think or say to yourself, “I can’t imagine what I’d ever do if (fill in the blank) ever happened,” be ready because that or something like it might be headed your way.  Don’t underestimate your ability to be surprised, even by things you think you understand.  We human beings are smart creatures, but we often see life through just a very small tunnel.  The reality of “things not going as I expect” is much more common than we ever want to believe.

2. Learn to laugh off the stress, unbelievability, and disorientation of the change you are facing.  This is kind of the “laugh or you’ll end up crying” approach to change.  Some of the best stress release I’ve had has been when I’ve laughed about how bizarre or odd things had become.  Believe me, I was also disappointed, angry, frustrated, and confused.  But having someone help me laugh kept me from going downhill.

3. Teach your kids to be flexible by being honest, allowing them to express themselves, and by trying to inject some humor when possible.  Not every element of change is easy to handle like this.  But when a loved one dies or has a horrible accident, conjure up the funniest memories you can.  When schedule changes mess up your “best laid plans”, find out what your kids’ questions are (and maybe other ideas).

4.  When you can see a particular person to blame for your misfortune, proceed carefully.  Be honest about the problem, but don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you.  You want to move forward, not get stuck in that moment in time.

I live in Tornado Alley, so the threat of being tossed about by powerful wind is an everyday concern right now.  I’ve often found that that small saplings ride out the worst storms in one piece, while many of the unyielding fully-grown trees are torn apart.

Even if you are a “fully grown tree”, you can still be flexible like a sapling!  Take care and share your experiences on learning to be flexible.

Creative Commons License photo credit: rolfekolbe

Blessed Are The Flexible Parents…

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2011). Blessed Are The Flexible Parents…. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 29 Jun 2011
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