How To Parent – When Times Get Rough…
We all get stressed at times, we all lose our cool. So how do we deal with those moments with our kids and what should we be aiming for? In the next of this ‘How To Parent‘ series, I’m going to talk about these times and let you in on you some important things you need to know as parents.
Stress can happen for so many reasons. When parenting children, it can seem like there is so much to do in our day to day lives. To know how to parent effectively if you do get stressed out is an important part of parenting.
So lets get straight to it:
Firstly, if you know your stress triggers make sure you do as much as possible to relax yourself if you feel or see stress starting to happen in your life. You can write a list of things that help you get through the day and calm tension, maybe stick it to your fridge to remind yourself;
- Finding 5 minutes for a cup of tea, (Hey, I’m English!)
- Getting all the kids bundled out the house for a walk in a park or in nature somewhere
- Doing some deep belly breathing
- And a really powerful one, shaking you mood out. – According to leading edge psychology a lot of our emotions are affected by our physiology. For example, if I asked you to think of a depressed person, you’d probably describe them as eyes down, head down, maybe slumped in a chair etc. We all have a certain physiology for certain emotional states. Start to notice what your ‘stressed’ state looks or feels like in your body. For example is your jaw tense, shoulders tight, breathing shallow etc. See if you can notice it happening. However, if you find yourself stressed, you can literally just shake it out. This could also be fun for the kids too if they see you! Take some deep belly breaths and shake your whole body, do some stretching maybe. And try this one, stand up tall, look at the ceiling and smile, and I bet it really will affect your mood!
If you don’t already know what your stress triggers are, look out for them, pay attention. What type of events lead you to losing your cool? Is it hormonal, sleep deprivation, diet related, relationships, work, habitual thoughts? Try and find as many ways as possible to reduce the possibility of things getting on top of you before it happens.
If you do lose your cool around your kids:
- Make sure you’re modelling emotional intelligence as much as possible, for example, healthy anger. Try not to say things you’ll later regret, maybe say you’re feeling angry right now and need some space. If you have young kids and cant leave the room, do whatever you need to do to change your state in a healthy way, the physiology exercise above can work wonders.
- Apologise, if you want your kids to be able to apologise to others, make sure you say sorry for anything you need to.
- Appropriate to the child’s age, explain you acted a certain way because you were feeling xyz.
It’s normal for people to have negative emotions from time to time, it’s part of life and part of conscious parenting, and parenting unconditionally is accepting all emotions in your child and also in your self…. What’s important is that we are modelling healthy ways to deal with our emotions.
Don’t beat yourself up if you get angry or stressed with your kids, just keep doing better each time. Remember your kids are learning everything, even the beating yourself up part, so if you can’t change for YOU, do it for the sake of your kids so they don’t grow up with the same patterns of behaviour!
Learning how to parent effectively during times when we’re stressed is one of the most challenging. We cant change the past, but the moment of power is in the present moment. The change can take place in the Now.
Have you got any tricks to help calm your stress, or change your mood? Would love to hear your comments below!