The Parenting Labyrinth
If you've ever accompanied your kids through one of those straw mazes that seem to pop up all around the outskirts of the city come fall, you know what a difference a simple change in perspective can make.
From the vantage point of someone adult-sized, the straw maze is decidedly tame outdoor fun. You can peek over the walls and find your way out of the maze any time you want. But to a child who is only half your height, it can be downright scary. Once those walls of straw are taller than you are, they might as well be 50 feet tall. And because the straw walls all look the same, a child can feel totally lost inside the maze, even though he may be just a couple of twists and turns away from finding his way out.
I've had that very same experience when I've been struggling with a parenting issue—that feeling like I'm permanently stuck when, in fact, the opposite is true. Because I can't see over the walls of the parenting labyrinth, I have no way of knowing that I'm this close to coming out the other side.
It could be that one of my kids is about to take a giant leap forward and difficult we've been dealing with will soon be ancient history. Or maybe I've just gained some valuable pearl of wisdom from one of the members of my parenting possé. Something changed without my even noticing. I can now see sunlight ahead. That can only mean one thing. I'm almost at the end of the labyrinth.
Do you ever feel like you're lost in a parenting labyrinth? How do you find your way to the other side? What advice would you offer to your fellow travelers—other moms and dads?