Not Happy? Change What You're Doing

Often in life when things are hard, we don’t change what we’re doing. We don’t try to handle problems in different ways. We just keep coming at it over and over in the exact same way.

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

 

My kids fight with each other.

They’re three years apart and they’ve had quite a struggle over the last few years. I hear a lot of, “He’s being annoying!” and “She’s yelling at me!” and “I want him to stop looking at me!” and “I don’t like the way she’s dancing at me!”

I imagine a lot of parents of multiple kids experience this sometimes.

There’s a wide range of things they do, from the trivial to physically harming each other. “I didn’t hit him, I just tapped him.” (why would ‘tapping him’ be okay?)

“It was an accident.”

Anyway, the worst is when they fight in the car.

I’m driving them around and they’re in the backseat. They look for things to fight about and they don’t like being so close to each other. They can instantly get annoyed with each other and start yelling, which creates an abundance of distraction for me, the driver. Sometimes they want me to get involved in their conflicts. Other times they’re just loudly arguing. Whether they ask me to get involved or not it’s stressful though.

I ask questions like, “Why can’t you just leave each other alone for the next 10 minutes?”

And sometimes things are really frustrating. There are times when one kid is complaining about something trivial the other is doing. Sometimes I will say, “Hey, if what you’re doing is annoying to someone else and it’s not something important…can you change what you’re doing?”

Just that.

“Change what you’re doing please.”

While I don’t want to encourage nitpicking another kid’s behavior, I think we can also try to learn how to be considerate and not try to irritate each other on purpose. Sometimes it works when I say that, other times it doesn’t. But I really like it.

Change what you’re doing is a good phrase. It’s something we can do when things are going wrong. It’s the advice I give to my kids and I’m wondering if I can apply to my own life too.

Often in life when things are hard, we don’t change what we’re doing. We don’t try to handle problems in different ways. We just keep coming at it over and over in the exact same way.

We tell ourselves things like, “I’m bad at relationships.” “I hate my job.” “I wish I wasn’t so angry all the time.”

And maybe we could ask ourselves regularly: Can I change what I’m doing?

 

Often in life when things are hard, we don’t change what we’re doing. We don’t try to handle problems in different ways. ~ Daniel Scharpenburg Click To Tweet

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

 


 

Did you like this post? You might also like:

The Wolfmother in Me.

    By Janelle Hardy I still feel fierce when I think about what happened. I’ve been loving all the giddiness of my 11 year old daughter and her 12 year old cousin, and the sheer delight they get out of each other’s company. We spent a summer swimming, splashing,...

Mindful Millennial Mom

  By Reanna Spain As a millennial, I’m part of the last generation of individuals who experienced life BC (before cellphones). Back before “office hours” became checking a quick email during dinner, and when reading the news meant sitting in...

La Famiglia: A Love Story.

  By Carmelene Melanie Siani   My husband and I were on the way to my brother's house for dinner when we decided that eating there and being there with my brother was the best "date night" experience we have. The food and wine was always the best, the service was...

What My Zen Papa Taught Me Living Off the Grid.

  By Jessie Jade Wright My papa used to tell me, “Go sit on a stump, and think about what you did.” The stump would be next to a downed Ponderosa pine in middle of the mixed conifer forest at 2,700 feet in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California. I’d watch...

Comments

comments

Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel lives in Kansas City. He runs Fountain City Zen. Daniel is a Zen Priest and Meditation Teacher. He believes that meditation teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called "A great everyman teacher" and "Really down-to-earth." Daniel is affiliated with the Dharma Winds Zen Sangha, where he received ordination in 2018.

Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook
(Visited 121 times, 1 visits today)