Nov 17

Parents of Struggling Kids: Go Through It, Not Around It


Go through it. Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity. – Albert Schweitzer

They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  Do you believe that?

I certainly do.  I have heard many a parent of a struggling child, once most of the crisis has passed, say that they, their child, and their entire family are all stronger and happier due to the experience.   And because of this I urge you go through the experience to its fullest, and don’t try to go around it.

If this sounds incredibly ridiculous, very annoying, or even impossible – just hold on.  I understand how you might think this is really a stupid idea.  Just hold on, and go through it, and not around it.  You’ll see.

What exactly do I mean by ‘go through it’?  I mean engage deeply, cry, laugh, seek to understand, talk, grieve, go to therapy, hire a coach, read everything, focus on personal growth, get the right support team, share, learn what ‘letting go’ means, and help others.  On the contrary, don’t be in denial, numb your pain, or otherwise check out of the process.

The ‘all in’ attitude is what enables those parents who emerge stronger than ever to do so.  They are able to use the experience as a catalyst to think, feel, and act different and hence not only is their child better off, but they are too!

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it.”   ― Henry David Thoreau

Does this make sense to you?  If it doesn’t, if you think I am nuts – I want to know that.  On the flip side, if you have truly come through what you once thought was an impossible situation and are now stronger for it, please comment below also.  I want to hear it all!


Leslie Ferris is a Certified and Credentialed Life Coach

Serving the parents of struggling tweens, teens, and young adults

Contact her today for your 1/2 complimentary discussion to explore what life coaching can do for you.

Connect with her via her website at http://www.phase2foryou.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Phase2ForYou

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Leslie_Ferris

LinkedIn:   www.linkedin.com/in/leslieferris/



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  1. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    Love this message, Leslie. It is so much easier to be in denial, but it doesn’t help anyone. Your line to go through your experience, rather than around it, is so true and makes all the difference for cutting the struggles just a little bit shorter. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Leslie Ferris

    Good point about possibly cutting the struggle a little shorter. That is quite possible. Thanks!!

  3. Bill White, Licensed Counselor

    Yes, it makes sense to me – and, no, I don’t think you’re nuts. “Going through it” is THE only road to resolution and growth. Oh, avoidance may seem to be the better option – more than understandable. But it’s a seductive and false coping mechanism. I often challenge my clients to look upon the engagement process as a “learning about me” activity. So in addition to resolving the immediate issue, it’s amazingly productive work because it’s about fathering self-insight (and repair). Good stuff, Leslie. Thanks for sharing with us…

  4. Bill White, Licensed Counselor

    …make that gathering, not fathering LOL.

  5. Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com

    Ooohh hoooo boy….did I finally go THROUGH the struggle with loved one’s alcohol abuse and alcoholism. And it wasn’t until I really went through that things started to get better and today, I don’t even recognize the person I was then. It was my always trying to minimize or plow around or deflect that had kept me so stuck for years because I wasn’t truly feeling the range of feelings I had. t think you are spot on Leslie, and THANK YOU for helping make this so clear. It’s sure to help parents looking for a way to finally end the nightmare.

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