Two Steps Forward, One Step Back


Earlier this week, we wrote about celebrating success with your family. But what if things suddenly seem to be getting worse? Don’t panic.

Setbacks are a normal but difficult part of the change process. With a good plan, you’ll get through these tough times and back to celebrating more success.

Here are some tips for when you feel like you’re taking two steps forward and one step back.

  1. Expect setbacks, they’re normal. It would be amazing if change happened smoothly, but that’s just not the case. There will be plenty of bumps in the road. Know that setbacks happen and try to think of them as opportunities to practice your skills as a parent.
  2. Don’t panic. A setback does NOT mean you’ve slipped back to the beginning. It doesn’t mean your strategy isn’t working. A setback just means you’ve had a bad day, or need to make an adjustment. Acknowledge what happened today and think about it, but don’t throw in the towel.
  3. It’s okay to feel frustrated or angry. These are normal emotions. Expect those feelings, acknowledge them, and then see if you can become calmer. Recognizing your frustration can help you move forward calmly.
  4. Think about the last three weeks, not just today. Try to be objective. What does the big picture look like? Focusing on the larger view keeps your perspective in check, and can take some of the pressure off of a bad day.
  5. Get Support. We know bad days and how discouraging they can be. This is when you need the support of friends, family, or maybe a good coach.

Wishing you the best this week,

Marissa S., Empowering Parents Coach


Marissa is a proud mom to two boys, age 12 and 8. She earned her degree in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and has been a 1-on-1 Coach since 2011. Prior to coming to Empowering Parents, Marissa gained experience working as the House Manager of a group home for teenage boys, as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager, and also spent several years working on the Children’s Unit at a Psych. Hospital.

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