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  • Writer's pictureAndi

PATTERNS




As I come off the tradition of Thanksgiving, I think of an annual tradition where there is a pattern of showing gratitude to our families and friends. Some friends and colleagues shared that they were going to their thanksgiving dinners but dreading the repetitive arguments and boring conversations this year again. This made me think of patterns.


Patterns are things that repeat. I always think of the ocean, so I immediately thought of the rolling waves that come rolling to shore. Some patterns serve us well and others do not. It’s being able to distinguish the difference that holds the key to happiness. Often, we follow patterns unconsciously only to realize we are in the same situation year after year. The caveat of patterns is that they are emotionally reassuring even when they are negative because it’s subconsciously an expected outcome.


When we notice we are not fulfilled on an ongoing basis, the goal is to get to the root cause, and think of what needs to change to break the pattern. I will be the first to acknowledge this is not that easy to do. A negative pattern often includes another person but since we can only change ourselves, it’s a matter of removing ourselves from the pattern or showing up and speaking up in a non-reactive way. Often, we’ve held in our feelings for years, only to explode when the catalyst is ignited. If you are finding this is resonating with you, make sure to practice calming tools before you enter a situation you’ve identified as a negative pattern. It’s likely you will be triggered as we have already anticipated the strife so just seeing the other person creates the reaction. Stay present and welcome the spark to look inward to see what needs to be deconstructed within yourself. Once you bring this out in an open and honest way, it will no longer trigger you in the future. (I am here to help you with this is if needed.)


For parents: If your child faces disappointment year after year, whether it’s in school with friends, grades, sports, theater, club activity or other, consider a different path where they can realize success. I remember my son was cut from the soccer team on the second day of high school tryouts, he had played all through middle school and his friends were not cut. Some parents went to the school to complain to give their children another chance as it was so early in tryouts. I decided my son was gifted with “time” and we sat down and talked about what he wanted to do with this bonus time. If he was truly passionate about soccer, then he should strive to play in another arena. He decided he preferred lacrosse and wanted to improve his skills, so with the extra time we found a college student who played lacrosse to coach him during the off season. The result was that he played lacrosse throughout high school and on the club team in college. This also led him to a fraternity with his teammates.


We often push our children into patterns that we decide will make them happy. Let them know at a young age that they can change negative patterns while still being responsible. If you make a change in your own life to break a pattern, explain this to your children, at any age, so they can see we are also faced with struggles. It’s good for our children to see us as humans and it provides a safe space for them to speak to us about their struggles in the future. The goal as a parent is not to fix their problem, but to problem-solve with them.


Parenting patterns are harder to break as they are passed generation to generation. We blindly follow what we think is the best way to raise our children. Often a parent says, “Well that is how I was raised” but then when sharing more deeply, they admit that they are not happy at their core, their childhood was strained, and their relationship with their parent(s) is not very good.


I would rather end this week’s blog on the thanksgiving tradition of expressing my gratitude to everyone including family and friends who have supported me this year in friendship and love and in launching Parent Do Overs which has brought me pure joy especially for the better part of this year.


2022 has been a pivotal year for me because patterns were broken. I am still holding onto a few negative ones but working on letting those go as well. I am the first to admit it’s a hard process but much easier to accomplish with support. Do Overs is here for you and all those new and expecting moms who are ready to break a negative pattern. Please share, share, share and let’s make a child’s world a happier place.


~Andi








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