It’s just a phase
By Amy Riley on June 27, 2014
Phases. We go through many of them as parents. Some breeze on by before we give them much more than a second thought. Others – whether or short or long-lived – cause us worry and occupy our minds and hearts as we’re trying to tell ourselves, “It’s just a phase.”
We’re in a phase with our 5-year-old son right now. He’s got a habit of twirling the hair on the top of his head. He does it so much that it gets his hair all knotted up and he’s pulled some out at the crown of his head. I’m getting anxious about this phase because I want to save his hair (it took over a year for his hair to grow in!) and we want to break the habit because it also often goes along with thumb-sucking (and schools and camps want him to keep his hands out of his mouth). So… I wish we weren’t in this phase and I’m worked up more than I’d like to be.
I’m working on keeping things in perspective. (It’s just a phase!)
- I’m reminding myself that this is not a big deal in the big picture. He’s healthy. He’s not worked up about some missing hairs. He’s great.
- I’m focusing on what’s working. We’re talking about it. My husband and I have been and continue to be on the same page about how to handle it. We’re talking openly with our son about it. And, yesterday, my son decided for himself that wearing a hat would be a solution he’d like to try. He proudly went off to camp today in his Cubs hat (which he said was a “real” baseball hat because the Cubs are a “baseball” team ).
- I’m telling myself that this is just a phase (I know that he will not be going off to college with his hand circling above a self-made bald spot on his head!) and that we’ve been through many phases. And, some day in the not too distant future this will be a phase we’ve put behind us.
It’s easy to look back on phases and think, “Oh yeah, there was no need to get worked up about that.” Yet, when you’re in a phase and you’re not sure exactly where it’s going or how long it’s going to last, you often get worked up – and understandably so.
What I wish in this circumstance with our son – and what I wish for all of us when we’re in a “phase” with our kids – is that we wouldn’t feel the angst about it. That we could truly know at a cellular level (because I know it intellectually, just don’t fully feel it) that this too shall pass and that it will be alright. And actually it’ll all be alright pretty quickly in the scheme of things.
How do you keep things in perspective and remember that “It’s just a phase”? How have you been able to minimize the “angst”?
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