I don’t believe there’s a mother in history who hasn’t cried because of her child.
Sometimes she cries from worry.
Sometimes cries from grief.
Sometimes she cries from fear.
Sometimes, her tears are an overflow of pride or relief or gratitude! We love these tears 🥰
And often, a mother cries because of her child’s behaviour. When this happens, she’s easily engulfed in a cycle of reaction and guilt. She gets herself together and promises she won’t yell or cry next time.
Until the next time comes again 😥
If this resonates, sweet friend, know you’re not alone. As an early childhood teacher, I hear and see these cycles every other week. And as a mum, I’ve lived this cycle too.
“I’ve tried everything. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“We haven’t had a good morning.”
“Thank goodness it’s a school day. I lost it.”
“Their behaviour is affecting the whole family – I feel hopeless.”
“I’m constantly frustrated and yelling.”
“They just ask, ask, ask and don’t appreciate anything I do for them.”
Gosh – there’s just not training to prepare you to be a mum, is there?!
Let me help you with a few tips, so your child’s behaviour loses its ability to derail your day and you regain feelings of control!
This is not about excuses; it’s about moving forward in an empowered and productive way. You’re tired, beautiful mumma, T I R E D, tired! You’re physically exerted every day. Your thinking brain is on ….. ALL. THE. TIME. Yep, every second of the day and night, your brain is checking off lists of safety and security, food, upcoming events, washing, school needs, medications. Not to mention your heart’s role in this too. Wrap yourself in a little energetic compassion, ok? Good! Let's keep going.
I can see how this might seem mean, but trust me, there’s a positive way to take responsibility and a less-than-resourceful way to take responsibility. We’re going for the POSITIVE way. Choosing to take 100% responsibility for how you feel gives you emotional freedom (and remember, you're doing this with compassion). When you learn the skills of recognising and controlling your thoughts, emotions and behaviours, you’ve unlocked the Key To City Of EMOTIONAL FREEDOM 🎉👏🥂 When you first experience emotional freedom – that is, realising you don’t HAVE to react the way you used to – a sense of personal power and relief washes over you, because you realise your moods aren’t at the mercy of your child’s behaviour anymore! They can tantrum in the grocery isle, stomp their little feet because you put the blue lego piece where the yellow should go, refuse the pastry scrolls they so desperately wanted ½ hour ago, and you just breathe. You remain unattached. You remain the calm in their chaos. These are the BEST parenting moments, aren’t they? Something seemingly so simple, like staying in control of yourself during your child’s big emotions, makes you feel like a superhero. And rightly so! Parenting is the hardest job in the world ….. not that we’d ever swap it, right?
It’s wonderful if you’ve learned to remain calm in your child’s chaos, but you need to know what to do next. Let me explain. Picture your child as an adult reflecting back on their childhood years. How do you hope they recall who and how you were during their hard days? These answers will guide you in finding the responses to your child’s behaviours that align with the mother you want to be. Remember, different behaviours and ages of your child will require different responses from you, but when you’re in control of yourself, you’re more able to provide the best response, rather than a reactive response. For instance, sometimes your child will require consistency from you such as a consequence, other times they’ll need your comfort, and sometimes the best response might be you continuing with your task, meal or game you’re playing with their sibling. Your goal is to give yourself the best chance to know which one.
When we’re in a heightened emotional state, it’s VERY hard to be rationale. Heck, it’s almost impossible, that’s why it’s helpful to think about your child’s behaviour when you’re in a logical and calm moment. It’s useful to remember ALL children behave like this at one time or another, or if your child’s behaviour is significantly different to other children’s behaviour, there’s a reason for it. As Brene Brown would say, ‘what’s the story you’re telling yourself?’ Give yourself a better meaning, a better story, and watch how quickly you feel better.
Because children’s behaviours can be SO unpredictable, you want to feel prepared every day to take what comes at you (let’s add the unpredictability of life too…) This is why step five is vital.
Because you are. Well, you’re the second greatest asset in your child’s life. As they become adults, their greatest asset will be their OWN emotional & mental health, their resilience, their ability to know they’re going to be ok, no matter how hard life gets. But where do you think they’ll learn this? Yep, from home.
So in summary, the next time your child’s behaviour makes you cry (and the time after that, and the time after that ‘cause this process is NOT a quick or easy ask … but still totally worth it!) do these four things:
You’ve got this, sweet friend, but if you want more support and conversations like this, come join me in my online Life Coaching group for mums, EMPOWERED the membership. It's only $197 for immediate, life-time, 24/7 access, so what are you waiting for? Let's connect!