Do you consider yourself emotionally mature? You know, it’s been said: Old age is always 15 years older than I am. Then again, it’s also been said: Age is not how old you are but how many years of fun you’ve had.

Trying to instill maturity in your kids? Well, truth be told that 87 percent of parenting is saying “It’s bedtime” 150 times between 8:00 and 9:00 every evening. Heck, save your voice calling for your kids. Just open a bag of chips and they’ll materialize out of nowhere.  Then again, parenthood is a journey – except it’s just traveling from room to room, putting away the same toys all day long.

But truly, how well do you perform under stress? Loosen your hold on self-righteousness and please learn to articulate your intentions and feelings calmly. Everyone else is just as lost as we are, so do forgive. We all struggle with demons of our own. Want to feel more peaceful? Don’t store up hatred or pain for days. Tell him straight up. Stop looking for the perfect love, or job, and realize that sometimes good enough is good.

Do you notice and isolate his weaknesses? As an alternative, realize his strengths. Believe it or not, you yourself may be a difficult person. Forgive yourself and learn to become your own friend. We all have moments we regret where our inner three-year-old ran the show. You know it’s been said: Children are a great comfort in your old age – and they help you reach it faster, too. Speaking of parenting… “So, I stepped away for like two seconds…” – the beginning of every parenting horror story.  They say it takes a village. Where can I get directions to this village?

But do try not to live in such great proximity to your issues and problems. Your past will always distort and color your view of certain things. Realize that others who value you want to share your vulnerability.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? Does your train of thought leave the station without you? What is your maturity level in the manner in which you communicate?

What is your emotional age? What is your characteristic way of behaving when someone disappoints you?  You may get extremely angry when you are let down.  Perhaps you don’t reach the height requirement for her emotional roller coaster.  You try to reassert control by becoming mean or even vicious yourself. You may ignore her and go cold, or put up a wall of indifference toward him. Not exactly the magical character traits you wish to cultivate, sweet friends

The capacity to share feelings defines emotional matureness actually. Try to make yourself understood while staying calm, despite hurt feelings. Instead of hitting back, allow yourself to be vulnerable. You have enough inner-strength and, trust me, you can indeed cope.

What’s that? Your childhood was a bit of a clownscape? That’s all right. Even if you never heard a parent speak in an emotional language, you can learn one. Human nature is quite malleable. Yes, you can change.  You can also learn to deploy understanding where it really matters. And no, you cannot throw fertilizer at people who need to grow up.

We are all in grave need of evolution, indeed. Our entire character may be built upon not knowing truths about ourselves. You might be vigorously committed to not knowing as a way of supposedly protecting yourself.

Try moving an inch or two in the right direction. Be compassionate toward yourself. Have realistic hope that your needs will be met by the right people. Only share the broken parts of yourself with trusted, loyal ones.

You are set on a path of emotional development. Perhaps you feel a need for deep connection, moving away from loneliness. Quite possibly you wish to express yourself creatively, including your work. Like me, you might feel as if your life is rich if you leave a positive imprint on the world.

These drives within us are quite powerful. If your gifts or talents go to waste, or if you lose a deep friendship, your pain can feel very deep – as though you cannot find your feet.

You can become so frustrated and have a breakdown instead of a breakthrough. None of us is prepared to upset the steady course of our lives. Ironically, we do have an inner imperative toward self-knowledge and growth, whether we know it or not.

So, instead of mercilessly complaining about your situation in life, be action-oriented.  Ask yourself: What can I do now to improve this situation I find myself in? Do as much good as you possibly can. Choose to respond to challenging situations with humility and grace, my friends.

Express your joy to others. And, by all means, seek a reliable role model. Do not fret about aging. As they say: There is still no cure for the common birthday. Look at it this way: The older you get, the older you want to get.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at