Do You Live in the Land of ‘If Only’? by Fern Weis, Parent + Family Recovery Coach



Byron Katie, creator of The Work says, “When you argue with reality you lose… 100% of the time.” When you think “If only my teenager would…” you are arguing with what is, and it’s impossible to make progress. You are stuck in the land of “if only”.

You know many people who complain about what their child is or isn’t doing, who spend lots of time wishing things were different. I used to be one of them. Perhaps you are, too.

  • If only he took school more seriously.

  • I can’t tolerate the way she speaks to me.

  • If only he would grow up.

Those thoughts keep you frustrated, and make it harder to respond to your kids in a neutral way. More emotion breeds more conflict. More conflict keeps you stuck in exactly the place you don’t want to be. How will you break the pattern and change for the better?

1) Stop complaining. Make a conscious decision to not argue with your reality and to eliminate negative talk.

2) Choose your thoughts carefully and shift them to what you would like to see and experience.

3) Words are powerful. Speak them slowly and thoughtfully.

4) Focus on your child’s strengths (and your own, too) instead of the challenges.

5) Ask for clarification. Don’t make assumptions.

6) Go for everyone’s best, instead of trying to prevent the worst from happening.

When you change your thoughts, you begin to change your reality. Add some action and you will be unstoppable.


Fern Weis is a Parent Coach and Family Recovery Life Coach. She works with parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, from the homework wars to addiction recovery, and all points in between. Fern helps parents release guilt, end enabling, and confidently prepare their children to thrive and be successful through life's challenges. FernWeis.com | 201-747-9642

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