There are SO many challenges & triggers as a parent:
- not listening
- mess in every room
- answering back, screaming and hitting
The list goes on.
Unfortunately, these behaviours are not isolated to your child alone. This acknowledgment is comforting but also a quiet reminder your parenting challenges are likely to re-occur in these or similar forms, right?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result”.
This suggestion from Mr Einstein sounds harsh when applied to parenting … but’s it’s also kind of true. Children aren’t going to miraculously become emotionally competent & compliant beings overnight, eager to follow your every request. So what’s the answer? How do you not just survive these stages & days, but THRIVE when supporting your children?
When my children were younger, I realised it wasn’t their behaviour that impacted my mood the most, particularly long term. It was my own. When I was reactive and chose behaviours removed from who I wanted to be as a mother, the guilt of this was heavy. That’s what remained with me long after my child’s behaviour had subsided. In contrast, when I responded with control of myself, of MY behaviour choices, I was much more able to process their emotions and challenges compassionately and calmly. I found I wasn’t running this interaction over in my head hours and even days later.
If you know the pain of this self-disappointment, these moments when you're less than the mother you want to be, try these 3 suggestions to help you align with the mum you know you are inside (& yes, they’ll take practice)
With these 3 steps in mind - & I encourage you to return to them at a time when you can quietly & genuinely contemplate them - what mindset will best support you when these moments of challenge arise?
Understand you are the parent your child needs.
Believe you have everything in you to provide the love & care you want for your child.
Remember you’re the adult, the safe space & the sanctuary for your child.
Now return to your day with an open & compassionate heart - of which this compassion might best be directed at you.