If you are a parent there have been many times throughout your day where you have felt totally “beaten down and defeated” by your child. You have faced parenting obstacles that leave you questioning yourself, specifically, your competence and confidence.
How liberating would it be for you to know that there are five key steps that you can take to change your perspective on obstacles, and look at them as opportunities?
1. Neutralize the situation- separate your emotions from the situation and your reaction to it. For instance your child’s tantrum is NOT your fault. It is indicative of something going on (inside) for your child. It is not a statement of the effectiveness of your parenting skills. It could be that your child is tired or frustrated because he/she is not able to have what they want at that moment. Focus on dealing with the behavior/situation at hand, not the emotions it stirs up in you.
2. Have a mantra you can say to yourself at times things seem out of control with your child (ren). For example, maybe you repeat to yourself, “I am okay, I got this.” until your mind and body start to believe it. Maybe you say, “I have been here before and gotten through it, I WILL do it again”. Maybe you say, “this too shall pass, wait it out.”.
Note: You may have to try a few mantras to find the one (s) that work most effectively for you. Also, you should have more than one in your repertoire. This will allow you to switch to a backup, if your usual mantra is not working as well one day, or in a particular situation.
3. Identify resource you can go to and/or call on when you need help. Parenting is tough. Like the old adage says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Identify friends, family, books videos, and even professionals you can turn to when you need assistance, and/or a break.
Look for resources that can take care of tasks you can outsource. You can’t and don’t have to “do it all”. For example, maybe you can hire some to help you clean the house, so that is one less thing you need to concentrate on. Maybe you and other parents can agree to watch each others’ children on occasion, freeing you up for some self care time. YAH!
4. Put together your action plan. Your action plan can consist of: a). Strategies you will use/try when faced with less than favorable situations with your child (ren). b) A list of which people you can call for assistance and in what situations they would serve you best. c) If you are going to outsource services, which ones and how often. d) In the event that all the help you put in place, is unavailable,(we know that does happen) e) Have a plan for how you will handle difficult situations by yourself, when you have no choice. E.g. Separate yourself from your child (ren), if possible. Take deep breaths and/or count if needed. Use your mantra if it applies to the scenario. Repeat it until your mind/body start to believe it, you will know when, because you will feel calmer and more relaxed.
5. Execute your plan. Here is where you take action. A plan with no action is useless. In order to get results and have a solution to overcoming obstacles and difficult situations, you must take action; specifically put the steps of you plan into motion. This is the point where you don’t just think about it, but you actually do what you have already thought about!
© Possibilities R Infinite; Sharon Birn; November 2015 www.possiblitiesrinfinite.com