Remember to Celebrate Your Strengths as a Parent This Holiday season

Recently I read an article in the New York Times about Tom Hanks as he was doing interviews for the release of his new movie, “A beautiful day in the neighborhood.” He talked about a lot of things but also discussed how it’s “not easy being a parent for any of us.” He went on to say:

“Somewhere along the line I figured out, the only thing, really I think a parent eventually can do is say I love you . . . I hope you will forgive me on occasion and what can I do for you? . . . I will do anything I possibly can do to keep you safe. That’s it. Offer that up and just love them.”[1]

Wow. Profound advice. Just offer up your love, give them assistance in staying safe, and ask for forgiveness sometimes. I don’t think I could have articulated those core aspects of respectful, caring parenting any better. Add in a strength-based, positive psychology approach and you’ve got all the ingredients you need for terrific parenting except for one: self-Compassion.

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of appreciating who you are as a parent. Acknowledge that every day you are doing the best you can with your available resources and within the demands of your busy, complicated life:  the pressures of work, the family responsibilities you manage, the frustration of raising a child who is an outside-the-box thinker. Regardless of those low moments, you’re doing so much more good with your child or teen than you may ever realize. Kids tell me repeatedly about their gratitude towards their parents, even while admitting they don’t show it often enough.

Take a quiet moment to celebrate YOU this holiday season and the many ways that you’re a terrific parent to your son or daughter with ADHD. Write down three things you feel proud of and put it in a safe place so you can look at in dark dark moment.

May you end this year with contentment for who you are and start 2020  with confidence and hope. No matter how you celebrate, I’d like to wish you health, happiness, fun and connection during this festive season.

[1] Brodesser-akner, Taffy. “This Tom Hanks Story Will Help You Feel Less Bad.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 2019,