Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
0% of parents
have no struggles.
in some way.
So as you're working with
your parenting challenges,
remember you're not alone.
We're all learning and growing together.
If we know every parent struggles,
and struggling helps us grow,
here's some pointers to maximize
the positive from your struggles.
So your challenges bring you UP,
Step #1: Say, "this is hard or challenging,"
either to yourself or to someone who's supportive to you.
We gotta own it to grow from it.
Getting weighed down by parenting guilt, shame, or denial
might be part of your process, but don't get stuck there.
Admitting and acknowledging
that life is hard right now
gives you the traction to change it.
Step #2: Get feeling specific.
"This is hard/challenging because I feel ______ when
my child does this ______."
For an extensive list of feelings, click here
and scroll down to the second page.
When you identify the feeling word with your lived experience,
you brain releases feel-good hormones.
It's like saying to yourself, "Yeah, I see you"
Honoring what you're feeling,
---It's tres importante,
and your jump start to change.
Step #3: When do you feel like a good parent?
Bring your attention to when you feel like a good parent.
When are the times your child cooperates with you?
Is it in the morning, or on the weekend?
After you've had quality together time?
When your little one has had time outside or
is getting ready to go somewhere she/he wants to go?
And maybe right now,
your child isn't cooperating with you at all.
Now notice what you are saying or doing
when you feel like a good parent?
Are you speaking calmly or assertively?
Have you gotten down on your child's level,
and are making eye contact?
Are you using humor or play?
If you can't think of a time
when you feel like a good parent,
be on the look-out for that good parent feeling,
Notice when it's happening and what you're doing,
even if it's just a few seconds of good parent feelin'.
Or if parenting is just feeling negative these days,
honor that too.
4) Bring the good parent feelings to your current challenge.
When you're stressed as a parent, the stress can take over.
And all your actions and reactions to discipline (teach) your children
came from this place of s-t-r-e-s-s.
One way to interrupt the stress cycle is to consciously work to
bring the tone of voice, body language and posture, things you'd say,
and other communication strategies of your feeling good parenting self
to your current challenge.
This may seem counter-intuitive to the "old way."
If my child is misbehaving, why should I be nice?
Won't I be faking it?
Well, here's the deal:
If you or your children are struggling,
you need even more kindness, understanding, and positivity
to get you through.
This doesn't mean you're a push-over,
or not being true to yourself.
It does mean you're utilizing your most effective
parenting strategies when you or your children
need them most.
The "burn to learn" thinking is from the past
And doesn't that make most sense?
Burn to learn,
and making you or your children feel bad
isn't the way to motivate either of you
to positive behavior.
Say it's hard and truly acknowledge this challenge.
Put a feeling word to your current struggle.
Then notice deeply when you feel like a good parent.
And bring those good parent feelings, actions & thoughts to your current situation.
For every parent struggles.
You're not alone.
We're here to support one another.
To learn and grow together.
You got this.
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!