By: Maria Caso
I’m a single mom. I’m also a life coach. My friends at webcitygirls// thought that was an interesting combination of roles, so starting today, I will be contributing some experiences and insights I have gotten as a mom of my beautiful and extremely self-reliant 13 year old daughter, Havana. Also, this will tell the story of how I might have done the hardest thing for all kinds of coaches, and that is applying what I know to my own family!
So, how do we let go of what bothers us? The skill of letting go is up there with most life-changing abilities you can have. My daughter Havana recently had a crash course when she left a brand-new Tiffany bracelet, a gift from my fiancé, at my friend’s fashion house, Showroom Seven. When my lovely teenage daughter realized the piece was missing, she went into panic. Actually, she went into total meltdown. She blamed herself, she freaked out that possibly one of the fashionistas at the showroom would take it, and then she began acting out with me, accusing me of not helping her find it. Not unexpected behavior for a teenager. So how do you turn a breakdown into a breakthrough? First, you must stay calm. Nothing is ever accomplished if you react to someone else’s insanity, even kids’. I began addressing the facts calmly. The bracelet was left, but no one will take it. It will be found. We will call and alert everyone to look for it. It will appear in the morning – STAY CALM!
As a coach, I know that being proactive, not reactive, is always the key to success. It’s a good strategy with little people because they are constantly testing us to see our reaction. Once Havana saw that I was calm and did not lose control, she could settle down. She asked what might happen if the bracelet did not reappear, and I said, “Let’ s worry about that when the time comes. How about a hug?”
The next day it was found. Teenager happy, mother relieved. However, as a learning opportunity I sat down with Havana and went over the entire chain of events, so the breakdown became a breakthrough. Havana had a lesson of learning to think long term, rather than reacting with anger and fear, and by the way, the negative feelings that built up between us were dissolved. The challenge is always for us to be bigger than the momentary situation, and to know that everything is an opportunity to guide our kids and loved ones through difficulties. We get the opportunity everyday to glide through life; learning what to leave out is just as important as what to focus on.