Awesome Moms Life Is Funny

We’ll Figure Something Out

(Based on a true story.)

Monday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, I wanted to talk to you about something. You got a minute?

Marvelous Mom: For you? Always. Let me to stop supper from burning.

Darling Daughter: I just want to make sure that you and Daddy were aware that most likely I’m going to relocate to California after I graduate law school.

Marvelous Mom: Well, I wasn’t sure about the “most likely” part, but I knew it was a possibility.

Darling Daughter: So, I want you guys to be about a three-hour drive away from me.

Marvelous Mom: You mean a three-hour flight away from you, don’t you?

Darling Daughter: No. I said drive. I meant drive.

Marvelous Mom: So, let me get this straight. You want to pack us up, and relocate us somewhere in California that’s three hours away from you. Did I get that right?

Darling Daughter: Yup.

Marvelous Mom: You are the most adorable daughter in the world. Sure, we can figure something out. Where are you going to be? We can’t relocate within three hours from you if we don’t know where you are.

Darling Daughter: Most likely, LA.

Marvelous Mom: How far away is San Diego from LA?

Darling Daughter: That’s only two hours.

Marvelous Mom: I guess we could check out San Diego.

Darling Daughter: Or San Francisco… Let’s see, San Francisco would be about four hours… Okay, I’m amending the last rule. You’re allowed to live somewhere within a four-hour drive from me.

Marvelous Mom: Wow, you are so gracious. Like I said, we’ll figure something out.

Tuesday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, I just wanted to tell you that I might end up in New York after graduation.

Marvelous Mom: Well, it sure would be nice to have you in the same time zone as us, but why?

Darling Daughter: It’s just in case I don’t get the job I want in California, and there’re some great firms in New York.

Marvelous Mom: We’d love to have you that close, but I’m sure you’ll land your dream job, and live happily ever after.

Darling Daughter: Mom.

Marvelous Mom: So, does that mean we still get the five-hour driving radius?

Darling Daughter: It was four hours. And, you don’t need that. You guys will be only two hours away.

Marvelous Mom: Four. Five. Either works for me. Besides, maybe we don’t want to stay in Connecticut. Maybe we want to go explore a new community.

Darling Daughter: Yeah, right.

Marvelous Mom: Don’t worry. We’ll figure something out.

Wednesday Phone Call:

Darling Daughter: Mom, if I got a job in Connecticut, do you think I could live in the same building where you are?

Marvelous Mom: Connecticut?

Darling Daughter: Well, yeah. It’s just in case I don’t get the job I want in New York. I could get a job at ESPN and live in Bristol. 

Marvelous Mom: Sure. We can figure something out. You could always live at our place.

Darling Daughter: I don’t want to live with you!

Marvelous Mom: I don’t want you to live with me, either.

Darling Daughter: Then, what are you talking about?

Marvelous Mom: I’m assuming we still get the six-hour driving radius. We can go anywhere.

Darling Daughter: That was four hours, not six.

Marvelous Mom: Four. Six. Either works for me.

Darling Daughter: If I’m going to move back here, why would you move away?

Marvelous Mom: You got me all excited about a change of scenery when you mentioned California.

Darling Daughter: You were only supposed to move if I moved.

Marvelous Mom: Don’t worry about it. Like I said, we’ll figure something out.

Currently, Darling Daughter lives in California where she landed her dream job. Marvelous Mom and Dynamic Dad still live in Connecticut. In case you didn’t know, that is more than a four-hour drive, but we’ll figure something out.

Tell Your Tweens + Teens

How To Get Out Of A Rut

Want to get out of a rut? Stuck in a negative pattern because you follow the same negative behavior? Do the same negative reactions make your body produce the same corresponding chemicals, and the resulting negative emotions that follow?

The only way to stop a pattern is to interrupt it.

Let’s get you out of a little rut first, so you can see how it’s done, by starting with something small. You can build from there.

Here’s your task. What if you spend a week limiting the negativity that comes out of your mouth in a social setting? What if you focused on positive feelings and positive states instead?

Unfortunately, many people connect socially by talking about their problems, relating their concerns, complaining about what they don’t have or what they missed out on, sharing things they hate in their life. Somehow the negative conversations feel like they provide a deeper connection than the positive things.

In the face of that, how do you say, “My kids are healthy and happy,” or, “I have nothing to complain about.”

Awkward, right? It almost feels like bragging. 

Try saying this instead:

“I’m sorry to hear things are going like that. You know, I was just going to share something similar, when it occurred to me that we always talk negatively like this. Do you mind if we try something different? How about if I tell you one good thing that’s going on in my life, and you tell me one good thing that’s going on in yours.”

How do you think your conversation partner would respond to this? Probably the same way you would if someone were to say this to you.

Try it on your kids. This puts a whole new spin on the after school talks. Now you can replace the deadly, “How did school go?” with “Tell me one positive thing that happened today, and then I’ll tell you one positive thing that happened today.”

Of course, your kid will look at you like you’ve grown two heads unless you first explain about the experiment you’re trying for a week.

The only way to stop a pattern is to interrupt it. Wouldn’t it be cool if, in the process of breaking the negative pattern in your life, you interrupted the negative pattern in you children’s lives as well? You’d be a family of Rut-less Wonders!

See also:

Buy my book “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” here:

Tell Your Tweens + Teens Walking the Walk

Addiction to Drama

Teenage girl.

Does that make you think of drama? Angst? Moodiness? Emotional Rollercoaster? Wouldn’t it be great if our girls could just be happy all the time?

It turns out that one of the biggest blocks to your daughter’s happy state is her Addiction to Drama. Believe it or not, our Addiction to Drama is as powerful as a narcotic because drama produces a jolt of adrenaline— an increased heart rate, heightened senses, increased strength and feelings of power.

Yeah! Who doesn’t want that?

As with any chemical rush, normalcy pales in comparison to the surge drama provides. That’s unfortunate when you are trying to explain the negative side of gossip to a thirteen-year-old who is feeling included for the first time.

It also explains:

  • why kids can’t get off the X-box
  • why children binge series
  • why nice people silently watch bullying
  • why siblings pick fights or needle each other
  • why gossip never dies
  • why cyberbullying is even a thing

(On the positive side, Addiction to Drama explains why our youth so passionately champion important social causes).

As long as the chemical rush is being provided, your daughter’s Addiction to Drama will persist… unless you interrupt the pattern, and substitute something else.

Start by explaining to your teen what goes on with her body when there’s an exciting incident at school. She’s capable of understanding what adrenaline is and what it does. It turns out that understanding the machinations of what’s happening to her help your adolescent make better decisions. That constitutes an interruption. Now all you need is a substitution.

It’s not necessary to have a 1-to-1 drama substitution, like in a recipe. Jolts of adrenaline can happen anytime and anywhere, and still affect the overall body.

If the only rush your child feels is related to hearing gossip, she has no incentive to let it go. However, if she gets a charge from gossip, and another one from shopping, and one from zip-lining, and from competing, and from dancing, and from laughing, and from a sleepover, and from a good book, and from hanging out with her best friend, and from skating, etc., the relative importance and impact of the gossip’s adrenaline jolt diminishes. Other activities crowd it out.

Schedule a time to brainstorm drama substitutions together with your cherub.* I don’t recommend you try coming up with a bunch of ideas for her on your own. Her Addiction to Drama has to be replaced by things that float her boat— that matter to her— not things you believe will matter to her. So, help her generate a list. And then, find ways to surprise her with an item from her list here and there. That will get her adrenaline going!

While you’re at it, take a pause for the cause and look at the level of your own Addiction to Drama. Are you a news junkie? Do you crave reality TV? Do you love commiserating at work? Although this is one of the few areas your daughter will indulge in whether you do or not, if your Drama Meter points to “high,” you better believe your daughter will mirror your example. If you can calm the drama in your life, she will learn that she can, too. You’re the one she wants to be like, so give her something worth imitating. You’re Awesome!

*For more ideas on how to broach subjects with your tween/teenage daughter, check out my book, How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door.