Photo by Rachel Hadiashar
Some days you're just going to feel negative as a parent.
It's going to happen.
Negativity is unfortunately a part of life
--- but you can learn to work with it.
The trick is not to...
* Beat yourself up for feeling negative.
* Repress your feelings.
* Or take it out on your kids.
The key is to ...
* Own your emotions as your own.
* Honor your negative feelings.
(Because they tell you exactly what your unmet needs are.)
* Then you can meet your needs to transform your negativity.
This is the hard,
--- but also the most exhilarating,
work of being a parent
--- and being human
A story from my Thursday morning this week...
I woke up dragging with no energy for the day ahead of me,
especially getting my son out the door for school.
I wanted to yell and threaten.
Because he wasn't getting ready for school.
But I used this process to transform my negativity
by honoring the root cause of it.
Actually it was me who felt tired and exhausted by the day ahead.
It was me who was dragging to get out the door.
It wasn't my son being difficult or not listening.
He was just being a kid.
And my negativity was impairing my ability to communicate effectively to him.
I gave myself some positive self-talk.
"I'm feeling negative because I'm tired. It's been a huge week. I'm doing a lot. I don't have to be on my game all the time."
In that moment,
I let myself off the hook.
When I could honor my negative reality,
and see it not as a character flaw,
I let myself off the hook.
I gave myself permission to be human,
and run late for work.
When I lowered my expectations for myself,
and met my own needs for kindness and nurturing,
I could begin to enjoy being in my own skin.
Or at least tolerate how I was feeling in that moment.
I could let my son be a kid in that moment,
move in his own time
-- and even enjoy his morning dress-up
as we were getting ready.
(That's him in the picture above with the hat.
He was a Black Knight.)
You know what?
Even tho I gave myself permission to run late,
I was even on time for work!
I know if I had lost my cool,
my son and I would have felt bad inside,
I would have had to spend a ton of time
on recovery and reconnection,
and I definitely would have been late for work.
It takes practice to love and be kind to yourself,
so you can offer that same love and kindness
to your children.
And sometimes you may yell anyway.
But when you can....
* Honor your difficult emotions.
* Meet your own needs.
* Let yourself off the hook
by lowering your expectations for yourself
and valuing your relationship with yourself.
This is the work we do together everyday
in positive parenting.
It's not easy.
We're all learning,
and evolving together.
We can do this.
You can do it.
And we're here to support you.
Lots of love,
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!