"There is no such thing as being the perfect parent. So just be a real one."
— Sue Atkins
Three flights of stairs.
Since I got married, that's how much I need to walk from the entrance of my building to get to my apartment.
I’ve done it with packages, I’ve done it with strollers.
But then I couldn’t do it due to injuries in not one, but both of my knees. As each knee had a torn meniscus.
Fortunately, my building has an elevator, and I finally decided to utilize this machinery.
Unfortunately, the elevator was working as well as my knees were.
One afternoon, my daughter and I were descending in the elevator when we heard a loud noise that can be described as either a crack or a crunch. Either way, it was not a comforting sound.
The elevator stopped and we were stuck.
I immediately went into problem solving mode.
Ring the alarm
Call the elevator company
Inform the fire department
It took about 45 min, but eventually we were able to get out of the elevator.
But the ordeal was traumatic for my daughter.
She was crying inside the elevator and even when we got out.
She said that she no longer wants to take the elevator, she only wants to do the stairs.
Being stuck was scary and the thought of it happening again was downright frightening for her.
Then I asked her a single question, and I believe her response is in line with that of at least 95% of children.
I asked her if, in retrospect, she preferred being in the stuck elevator with me or would she have preferred to be on the stairs with me being stuck without her.
She responded “I’d rather be stuck with you”.
Parents, let this be a lesson. There are times when we get stuck, when we get into a dark place. When we feel like we are doing our children a disservice by having them around us when we have too much on our shoulders.
Kids would prefer that relationship and bond with their parents, even during the difficult time for parents.
Parents try to protect their children, and rightfully so. But pushing the child away during personal struggles isn’t protecting the child.
Your child needs you and will choose you when given the option.
Make sure you create an environment where you’re welcoming to the child.
We all have our ups and downs. If we don’t want our children to run away from us when things are hard for them, we shouldn’t run away from them or push them aside when things are hard for us.
Yisroel Picker is a Social Worker who lives in Jerusalem. He has a private practice which specializes in working with people of all ages helping them understand their own thought processes, enabling them to improve their level of functioning, awareness, social skills and more.
To speak with Yisroel about presenting at a child safety event or to discuss a personal case, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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