What is the drama all about?

drama Feb 04, 2022
Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD
What is the drama all about?

Think about your favorite dramas. What makes them amazing?

The stories! The characters! The plot!

I watched the latest Spiderman movie last night - and I will not spoil it for you. But the story brought up all.the.emotions for me. It wasn't just an action movie, it had story and laughter and tears. It had drama.

Drama is life! It’s what we do as humans: we have emotions. If we didn’t have drama, we would be robots.

The stories, the emotions, the quirks of what we do – that’s the beauty of this life and it’s also a burden that we carry... if we choose to.

As humans, we are able to project to the future - and worry about it.

We can choose to celebrate this moment right now.

We are able to remember the past - and oftentimes look at our mistakes as failures.

All those worries and celebrations and failures are…. Drama.

Normal drama.

There is drama that we choose. I wanted to laugh and cry during Spiderman. It's what made it good.

I also want to laugh and cry with my family. Our lives are that much richer for that.

But there are other parts of the drama that I’m over:

Stories: The stories of telling myself that I’m not doing a good enough job, that I’ve failed at parenting or meal planning, or I’m lost on finding a certain health path

The story that a particular weight or diagnosis leads to a particular outcome.

My friends, these are STORIES. They are not the truth.

Feelings: Culprit #1 is worry.  Please, worry doesn’t help me one bit. Fear while parenting is not helpful. When I’m afraid, I am not parenting as I want to: When I’m feeling fear, my big ole Momma Bear comes out, and she is acting big (and afraid). She tries to control… everything. She tries to make it all better with a whole lot of rules, and listening is turned off (ever notice how when you’re scared, you don’t hear the good things that are going on, not hearing the birds chirping or the sweet songs? Our brains are just looking for danger and actually start finding more of it along the way.)

And the biggest drama is thinking that my kids need to change in order for me to feel better. That they need to be happy so I can be happy (not true), that if they just ate better I can feel relieved, that if they just went out and exercised we’d be awesome.

This is perhaps the biggest drama that I see today: parents thinking that if their kids, partners and other family members would just change and be healthier, things would be so much better.

That is drama. It’s a story that we tell ourselves. And it's not true.

These stories I told myself got in the way of truly understanding and connecting with my kids. I can't control my kids to make myself feel better. 

That’s the drama that I’m cutting out.

When we get rid of the stories that we’re doing a crappy job, that if the kids would just change, we would be better – that’s when we can focus on what’s right here, right now. And the drama dissolves. And what’s left? Connecting with real, authentic feelings, what is really going on (not what we think should happen and not rehashing the past and not worrying about what might happen), and…. Ultimately, connecting with ourselves and our kids… right now.

When we give ourselves the space to just work through our own drama, we can be much more present with our kids to help them through their drama. 

Because kids and drama totally go together. It is normal. They get to create all the stories and feel all the emotions. There’s no avoiding drama in childhood (insert image of your toddler tantruming, or the storm of teen angst). 

But when we have the tools as parents to understand our own drama and figure out which parts we choose, we can be the calm presence in the middle of the storm called growing up.

So much love to you, my friends, this is the real work of parenting. I love you and I can help you. 

Check out the Family in Focus with Wendy Schofer, MD Podcast!

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