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5 Ways to Take the Pressure Off of Big Changes

by Ben Dewberry

For more than 20 years, entrepreneurs, athletes, writers, and others have been proponents of focusing on the daily small decisions made. 

Their tactics are to succeed through the small. They ignore the largeness of the task. 

What happens? 

They persevere, develop resilience, outlast others, and overcome. They succeed. They win. They survive. They thrive.

And this is what can happen to your daughter. The overwhelming obstacles and big changes can evaporate. They can lose their steam. 

Big changes and big decisions are the opposition.

Every Change Seems Big

If your daughter hasn’t raised questions about her future, she will. Many of your girls have already experienced some of life’s big transformations. Or have noticed other girls or family members going through these early-life transitions. 

When we’re growing up, major personal and social shake-ups occur. Our physiques, relationships with friends, privileges, and social standings all get major overhauls.

Yet! This article isn’t about puberty. We’re not discussing changing dynamics between children as they become interested in romance. It’s not about getting your driver’s license or turning sixteen. 

It’s about how children experience change and how we help mold that experience. 

Big changes are not really one event – usually. They are a series of events occurring over a long period of time. 

We may look back on our lives and feel like the changes were big for us – but that isn’t because they were – it’s because we thought about them that way.  Maybe we still do.

Teaching children to focus on small decisions will improve their ability to handle life’s changes.

5 Ways to Take Pressure Off Changes

  1. Normalize Change

Change is a normal part of life. Change is constant. 

But we don’t grasp this in the younger years. We often learn that there is a way for things to be. Our personalities move us toward arresting change rather than working with it.

Use every chance you get to both teach and model that change is normal and expected. Your child will see how you deal with changes. Sometimes we expect change. Sometimes we don’t. 

When you expect changes, discuss them early. Prepare your girl. Make talking about the changes normal in your house. 

For unexpected changes, be transparent. 

It’s important to acknowledge when something unexpectedly happens. Our girls need to see that it is also normal not to know about some changes. 

When this is the case, explain how you feel, even if you didn’t want the change. Then, you can role model to her how you develop a plan. Show her that there are always alternatives. You can pivot and move in new ways when necessary. 

  1. Develop Awareness of Small Changes – Small Changes Are Development

Develop an awareness of small changes. And be aware that small changes are part of an ongoing and developing story. 

Changes are not isolated. They’re connected to other changes that come before and after them. 

When your girl comes to you with a problem – something has happened. Take the time to discuss and discover all the events that lead up to the issue. 

Teach your girl to investigate and notice the small things. Make efforts to draw out the details in your conversations. They usually matter much more than we realize.

Noticing the small daily decisions we make and the changes that follow requires awareness. 

  1. Making Conscious Decisions

Children learn about life by absorbing it. Their minds take in their environments – culture, language, personality traits, and so on. 

As they grow, much of the learning gets relegated to autopilot and assumed to be correct. While this helps us adapt and survive, it also leaves us closed and vulnerable to changes in the future. 

We can teach our girls by helping them learn to be conscious of the decisions they make. Think through why they have chosen to do something or like something. 

We don’t need to approach this with an agenda. Ask questions and let them come up with reasons. This will make them aware that reasons do exist. And that reasons have consequences.

  1. Use Small Goals.

Small decisions need small goals. 

When you’re consciously making decisions, then you’re aware the reasons, the goals. You know what you want and why you want it. 

Goals are important to decisions. But they don’t have to be life-altering goals. We don’t need to pressure our kids to know what they want to be when they grow up.

We can break big decisions and big goals down into much smaller daily ones. This takes the pressure off the big things looming in the distance. 

When you discuss decisions with your girl, prompt her to think about what she is hoping to experience or gain. Again, do this with no pressure or manipulation – unless you’re having a talk about correcting inappropriate actions. Even then, this kind of conversation is especially important. 

Small goals develop perseverance and more quickly provide a sense of progress and accomplishment.

  1. Help Her Find Answers

Finally, when your girl has questions or concerns and you don’t know the answers – relax. Let her know you don’t know. You should even let her know when you’re not sure. 

It’s vital that she learns it’s okay not to know something. Because what’s more important than knowledge is understanding that who you are is not what you know. And you can always learn, find out, or discover anything you need to. 

Take this journey together with your daughter.

The Way

When your girl follows these methods, she will arrive wherever she is going with grace. She will feel more confident, act more stable, and be more grounded. She’ll be able to handle the ups and downs with more poise. 

In this way, all your family will experience less pressure and more peace of mind.

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