Sometimes in parenting we fall off track. Other times we fall so far from the track, we can barely find our way back to the parent we aspired to be. Seemingly small triggers pile up and left unresolved cause stress and tension. Often we step back and look at ourselves in the mirror, and are faced with a worn out, snappy parent, who is out of patience.
When we have come so far from our ideal, it can feel like we are lost forever. Perhaps parenting with joy, peace and harmony can seem like an unrealistic ideal when viewed from your current situation. You can see so much you are unhappy with, you have no idea where to begin, which leaves you feeling deflated and defeated.
But there is a way back. Parenting can be so joyful, and you and your children deserve to experience life at its best. So begin by taking baby steps.
Identify your biggest challenge as a parent. What do you find most stressful? How could you change this one thing?
- Perhaps its the feeling of not being heard? Firstly, look inwards at what you have been saying. Is it something you would want to hear yourself, or is it a demand? When children grow used to hearing demand after demand, they tune out. Create a quiet space, turn off the TV, the computer and just enjoy spending time together, having a simple conversation with no demands or judgments.
- Maybe the issue is getting out of the house on time? Make sure you get organised the night before, put your bags ready to go by the front door and be clear that everyone knows what time you want to be leaving home. Get up early enough, so that you have time to get ready calmly and you can all enjoy breakfast together. Start your morning peacefully to continue the mood throughout the day.
- Is it that you are finding yourself shouting frequently? When you feel like you are going to shout, stop. Take 10 deep breaths in and out, leave the room if you have to. Logically assess the whole situation. Is it really a disaster? Can you see it from your child’s point of view?Will shouting help? (I doubt it!)
Whatever you identify as your biggest stumbling point, address it fully before moving on to work on the next. Above all, enjoy each other. Laugh, get outside, just be together and rediscover the amazing, fun parent you really are!
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