The Personal Fable of Parents

The Personal Fable of Parents

One of the quirky side effects to development during adolescence is something called the “personal fable.”  Teenagers are feeling and thinking things for the first time, and for some reason they become thoroughly convinced that they are the ONLY ones to have ever felt or thought these things.

Remember when you broke up with your first love?  Your mother and father tried to comfort you by saying, “Don’t worry.  Everybody goes through this.  I went through the same thing when I was your age.”  And you tearfully replied, “No!  No!  Nobody ever had a love like this!  No one understands how horrible I feel!”

Fortunately, this phase passes, and we can look back and laugh at ourselves.  Unfortunately, the personal fable has a tendency to emerge again when we become parents.  We find ourselves thinking, “I’m the only one who can’t get my child to sleep” or “No one knows how terrible I feel when my child says she hates me.”  As a result, whatever the problem may be, we magnify all our anxiety and angst by adding on a sense of isolation.

That is why participating in a program like Romp n’ Roll can be so beneficial for parents as well as children.  When you hang out with other mothers and fathers in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, suddenly everyone starts to open up and share their trials, tribulations, and self-perceived shortcomings.  And this not only allows you to get some valuable insight and tips for solving various problems, it makes you feel so much better to know that you are not alone when facing the challenges of childrearing.