Lessons you can share with your kids or with your inner child.
#2 It is Your Thoughts that Make You Feel Bad
You are never upset at a fact – you are actually upset by your thoughts about that fact.
So, if you think you’re upset that you have to do your homework, it is not the homework that is inherently upsetting – that’s just a fact: You have homework to do.
What is upsetting to you is that it triggers thoughts about it such as:
I’m not in control of my life
My parents are mean
My parents don’t love me unless I do my homework
I am not capable
I’m not good enough
Success is all about achievement
You chose to think those thoughts and you are in control of your thoughts and so you can choose to change them.
You can choose to change all thoughts that hurt.
Instead of saying to yourself “I have to do my homework”, I can choose to say “I get to do my homework”. Change those words to change the way you think about your homework. Homework now becomes a privilege rather than a chore. With this slight adjustment, it is likely that your thoughts will change to:
My parents love me so much they want to educate me
So many kids in the world have no schools to go to – I’m one of the lucky ones
I wonder what I’ll learn next
This homework will help me to get to where I want to go
The sooner I finish my homework the sooner I can go outside
You can practice changing your thoughts by substituting the words “I have to…” to “I get to…”
Throughout the day notice how many times you think “I have to” and each time switch the thought to “I get to”. Notice how it feels!
Tom Sawyer, in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, put this into practice when he had to paint the garden fence as a punishment. He convinced his friends to do it for him by having them think “I get to paint the fence” rather than “I have to paint the fence”. They even paid for the privilege. Smart kid that one!
I know firsthand the emotional and financial costs of having a troubled teenager and I don’t want that to happen to you. That's why I wrote my book What They Don't Teach in Prenatal Class: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids and Teens (available on Amazon).