Worry About Yourself

Originally published in the October 2016 Glover Park Gazette

Originally published in the October 2016 Glover Park Gazette

I hate to break it to you, I have another irritating (AND supremely effective) parenting tip for you guys. Last month it was the profoundly un-sexy tip of de-cluttering. I humbly give you this tip not as ‘know it all’, but as a complete butt-insky and all around general nag. I give you this advice with sadness in my heart that we can’t actually control, change, even tweak other people. Even if it would be really, really good for them. Even if all our ‘research’ proves us right. Even if we love them more then life itself.

Watch  “Worry About Yourself” and you will see the most profound 47 seconds of human behavior. I’ll wait. . . .

Here’s what I learned from this video,  (I wanted, really wanted, to write, “Here’s what WE learned from this video.” BUT that would be so wrong because this whole article is about Worrying about Myself – see, I can’t even do that for three paragraphs) people engaged in their own lives don’t want any tips (‘Nifty’ as they may be). Kids know what they need to do and they know what you need to do ("Drive the car!"). Let’s be honest, it’s more relaxing to sit and ‘help’ or ‘advise’ others then it is to go about living our own big lives. Nothing scary about giving a lecture about procrastination to our beloved child. More scary to stop procrastinating and look for a new job for ourselves.

Now, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, people. ‘Worry About Yourself” doesn’t give you license to ignore everyone else, or leave your family high and dry. It means if your kids aren’t asking for help/advice - worry about yourself. Clean your closet, pay your bills, pitch your text books from college, tidy up your workspace, make those vacation plans, check on your 401k. (Oh my gosh, I’m making myself so nervous I might just have to go lecture one of my kids about study habits!)

Add “Worry About Yourself” to your parenting arsenal. Go show that video to your kids, it’s hilarious. (Pssst, this tip is handy for EVERYONE, parent, not a parent, a parent of grown kids, a kid of a parent.)