Staying Active, Remaining Calm Does Have its Challenges

Marlozappley 001

Hello Charlotte parents and surrounding area families! We are half-way through the Charlotte Parent Magazine Fit Family Challenge and how the time has flown! This past week, the Zappley Family has been pretty active. We participated in the Tuckfest/Adventure Family Obstacle Course at the U.S. National Whitewater Center on last Friday. It was a great turnout, beautiful day, and fun-filled event! 

What other way would you choose to spend family time than to go on an obstacle course challenge given a paper map?  I must say that my map reading skills are a bit rusty; therefore, without technology and a GPS device, I wouldn’t get far in my adventures if left alone.

So, I decided to leverage this opportunity for some family team work and put my oldest son, Christion to work!  He did an awesome job (although we only found one marker).  For all those competitive parents out there, I know 1/5 markers in an obstacle course challenge sounds pretty sorry, but for was all about the fun and enjoying my family!

As stated in my prior blogs, one of my Fit Family goals were to get my children engaged (particularly Christion) and active in something that we all could appreciate and enjoy, while spending quality time together. 

The reason for that goal is because I  find that as a single parent to a 12 year old son, at times I am not always as connected as I would like to be with his thoughts and “life.”  More so, if I don’t approach him in a cautious manner, I find that he has no problem getting around my question and answer sessions…as no kid wants to have “the talk” but too many times during the course of a day, week, month, or year.

With this said, Christion had a pretty rough week in school and was easily frustrated when it came to little things during the challenge.  In my mind, I am thinking, ‘What the What is Going On With You?” .. However, in that moment, there was a breakthrough in communications and he had some pretty pinned up emotions he was dealing with during that week that I had limited knowledge of…

I have to admit, I don’t recall 6th grade and life being so hard at 12, but times have certainly changed.  Without the assistance of some of the Fit Family Challenge Experts, I may have still been in a state of denial regarding the fact that I can take a different approach my son.  I would actually be better off saying that I might need to enlist in a Parenting 101 class because I may have to revamp my whole parenting stragey as of lately.

Moving on, so we are in the woods and now he purges all his emotions/issues, while I’m standing there in a baffled state of existence.  It would be great if I had this 100% guranteed, effective parenting handbook to pull out at that very moment to give me some pointers on how I should deal wiht my own emotions and be calm, collect, while finding some way to empathize with his emotions. 

Yet, the learning moment for me in all this was that a simple solution to an adult doesn’t always register for a 12 year old pre-teen kid, especially when they “think” and “feel” like they got everything under control..until they don’t have things under control anymore.  It seems like my logic is illogic, even when my child’s approach doesn’t work…there it is…My simple solution: Do it MY WAY! Just saying.

Anyway, as I continued to think during his communications, I saw a perfect opportunity for the Zappley Family to take some deep breaths in and out to experience the moment of beautiful nature, while accepting life’s challenges and knowing there would be better days!  Hey, my moment of NAMASTE wasn’t too appealing to my son, but it got me through my moment of frustration and choice words buzzing through my mind such as the infamous mom line, “I told you this or that.”  The harsh reality I am starting to grasp is that at a certain age, that one liner becomes no longer effective when kids begin to believe that they know what’s best for them.

In closing, I can’t emphasize enough how spending time with your family is so valuable even given a demanding/busy lifestyle and schedule.  It’s moments like the one I just shared with you all that can really make a difference in the relationship with your child.  I’m so fortunate and blessed to have wonderful children, but this blessing does not come without its own set of challenges each day (particularly with a pre-teen). It’s learning opportunities such as the one I also described that helps us become better parents so that we become more focused on the emotional needs of our children.  Too often, when we get wrapped up in life, the one small thing to us, may have such a huge impact on the kids.

For me, I believe this is something worth keeping in mind…and after all, creating awareness is a start in bringing about change.

Have a great week!


Marlo Zappley