Parenting Pretend: Fake It Till You Make It

Whenever I had to do anything stressful like meet with school staff or speak in public, I always imagined the Parents Anonymous Group members behind me, supporting me.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | February 18, 2015

Twenty-six years ago an army assembled behind me for moral support… and they never left.

It seems so long ago that I attended my first Parents Anonymous meeting; the issue driving me bonkers at the time was homework. As it turned out, the school had placed Chelsey in an accelerated gifted class, one she could barely keep up with. Classwork not completed at school had to be finished at home and that meant sometimes two or three grueling hours of me helping her. The Parents Anonymous Group members encouraged me to speak to the principal to get Chelsey taken out of that hyped-up class – something the principal vehemently did not want. I was nervous about the meeting but the day I met with the principal, I was ready… with my imaginary army standing behind me: about 8 to 12 extraordinary parents who only wanted the best for their kids. With the other members’ support, I was able to state my position and successfully moved my daughter to a brand new, regular class. Success felt pretty good and Chelsey’s difficulties in school and my stress ended, thanks to my imaginary army of support.

Patience was never my strong point and I was constantly trying to improve. When house rules were ignored I would tell the kids (sometimes yelling) and when the infraction continued I would get annoyed and frustrated. One day I made a discovery when Chelsey had a friend over; when the visiting friend broke the rules something strange happened. Instead of getting upset, I became very patient and politely explained the house rules and why we do things this way. From that time on, when I started to get upset I would pretend Chelsey or Katie were a neighbor’s child; I would certainly be more patient. Pretending worked so well for me that I shared my discovery with the members in my Parents Anonymous group.

Over the years I have been asked to speak on behalf of Parents Anonymous on television and public. I am not a very good speaker so I would get pretty nervous before each event. I heard once that imagining the audience naked was an effective way to get calm and remain relaxed through the interview. Imagery of people n their birthday suits had a way of leveling the playing field. Details are not necessary but I can attest to the fact that it does help… if you can do the interview without laughing.

These three examples of pretending used to solve a problem worked for me and they might work for you, too. Give it a try… Fake it till you make it!

PHOTO: Courtesy of OnceAndFutureLaura Under Flicker/CC License.

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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8 Responses to Parenting Pretend: Fake It Till You Make It

  1. yeseventhistoowillpass says:

    Excellent post. Thirty years too late unfortunately… I wish I knew of these organizations


  2. Nice article Jackie. That is a problem of all parents, we tend to yell, as we get frustrated because the children are not following the rules.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Thank you, Randy. The funny thing is that my children were all very normal, it was I that had issues with anger. I really would be lost without the kind support from the Parents Anonymous members.


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