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Why You Should Trust Your Parenting Intuition...

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

...because no one knows more about your child than you do. No one's paid closer attention, no one's analyzed more, no one has spent more time. Experts can give you expert advice, but you are the ultimate expert on your child.

A brand new client recently described her daughter's situation to me for two minutes and asked, "What should we do?" This was a very sensitive issue. I was surprised she had asked my opinion so quickly. When I probed a bit, she said she had consulted four experts in other fields and now me. I realized that she was looking for someone else to make the decision because she did trust herself to do it.

After just a few minutes, there was no way that I could tell her what to do. But I could tell that her anxiety had obscured her reasoning. Her worries prevented her from balancing the varied opinions and charting the best path for herself and her daughter. So rather than giving advice about her daughter, I gave her advice about herself.

I suggested that she find time to reflect on the situation. She needed to journal or pray or talk to herself or do something to organize her thoughts and reach into that well of wisdom she had developed over the last seventeen years. Initially she said she had no time to reflect, but after we went through her schedule, she found a few precious moments. The other day, she told me that it's made a big difference, and I notice that she is much calmer when we talk on the phone.

It's challenging to reflect when we're anxious. Our instinct is to put our feet down on the accelerator pedal to try to get through the situation. Confronting our feelings is uncomfortable. We tend doubt ourselves. We just want it all to be over, but I urge you to work hard to get past your own overwhelming feelings. Do consult experts (including me!) and listen to informed opinions. But then take a look inside yourself, think about your options, sleep on it, and follow the course that seems best to you. It takes faith to trust your own judgement, but no one else knows more about a child than a parent. No one is better able to decide what the right path is. And no one has more grit, more determination, and more perseverance for your child than you do!

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