Create the family you want to have

Parent Affirmation Monday- Being a Learner 9/24/2012

Written by, Kate Oliver, MSW, LCSW-C

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone (Photo credit: Robin Hutton)

Sometimes as parents we can forget that our children have to experience things on a daily basis where they are challenged to learn and grow like exploring new school material as well as new people and places that feel foreign to them. Even teenagers must go to new classes and meet new teachers each school year. Just think if you had seven or more new bosses to meet and the bosses changed each year.

Children adopted at an older age, and/or traumatized children have it even harder. Not only are they challenged to stretch themselves at school, but home may also be a place where they are challenged to try to do new things that feel different to them. For children adopted at an older age, they may not be accustomed to a forever family that has rules and boundaries. I remember one child in particular who was perplexed at the rule her foster family had about not putting a hairbrush on the table. Even foods may seem different to these kids. Gregory Keck, rightly points out in his book, Parenting Adopted Adolescents*, that children who have been in multiple homes tend to gravitate toward pizza, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese because they taste the most consistent in different homes and children, like adults,often crave safe and familiar foods and activities.

As adults, we can forget that feeling of being pushed to try unfamiliar things. We can become complacent about going outside of our comfort zones and becoming learners again. While there may be tasks at work or home that we do not like doing, it is less often that we are pushed to learn something completely new. It is important as parents that we can connect to that place of being a learner, just outside of our comfort zone, so we can remember what it is like for our children and to model that it is okay and even good to be an ongoing learner in life.

Our affirmation this week is:

I am open to the many learning opportunities that cross my path. I learn and grow every day. 

Now, we get learning opportunities everyday, but this week, I want you to reach a little further. If you have a partner, think about having them teach you to do something they normally do like cook, or change the oil in the car. If that does not work for you, pick up a book about something you have always wanted to learn about but never gave yourself permission or time. Find out about how to use your finances wisely, give yourself a challenge to “go green,” or try a new kind of exercise class.

What will you do this week to expand your horizons?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. S...

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So if you’re feeling uncomfortable right now, know that the change taking place in your life is a beginning, not an ending. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

*see disclaimer page

September 24, 2012 - Posted by | affirmations


  1. Wow, I was just thinking about comfort zones and was going to mention it in my last post. This is great, I will definitely share this message with the many students and parents I see this week and credit you for it!

    Comment by licensedmentalhealthcounselor | September 25, 2012 | Reply

    • Great! I am so glad you find it helpful 🙂 Thank you for the comment and for re-blogging.

      Comment by help4yourfamily | September 27, 2012 | Reply

  2. Good reminder! I have learned in life also that growth requires pain and discomfort. If we are too comfortable, we are stagnated.

    Comment by Noel | September 27, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you for commenting. I agree that if we are too comfortable we are stagnated, however, while many people do find growth to be uncomfortable and painful, I am of the mind that all growth does not require pain. I think much growth can come in allowing ourselves to connect to curiosity, loving relationships, and letting go of pain we have been holding onto. When we do that, I believe we actually find our greatest growth opportunities. Do you agree? Thank you for your comment. It helped me to clarify my own thoughts on this 🙂

      Comment by help4yourfamily | September 27, 2012 | Reply

      • Yes, I completely agree. Thanks.

        Comment by Noel | September 28, 2012

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