Time for a parenting detox. What is that?
Some days I can be a great parent, calm, understanding, nurturing. Other days, well all parents will relate when I say I won’t make ‘Mum of the Year’.
When things are not going well for a few days in a row I generally sit back and go, what’s not working? Is something happening for my children that I haven’t picked up on, is something not working in my world that is causing me to react in the way I am? Time to assess what it is and how to address these issues, detox the stresses.
So, what could be causing the unsettled behaviours of either my children or myself? Here is a list of 6 questions to ask myself about my children (this is going to be a self-counselling session for me – i can just feel it}.
For my Children:
- Where are they in their physical and emotional development? I sometimes forget they are growing up. They become more independent, and I want them to be independent. But to learn they make mistakes, as we all do, and that needs to be okay, so they feel confident to keep trying. As they hit the pre-teen years then the hormones also play a part. Note to self is that this area needs for me to be patient and supportive.
- What is their current lifestyle? Back to basics, are they getting enough sleep, eating correctly, going outside and exercising, are they healthy? Are they getting down time, not running around to different activities every day of the week? Are they well in themselves, and are they eating a variety of healthy foods? There is something to be said for routine, from a practical as well as emotional perspective. Time to check how our routine is affecting our lifestyle.
- Where is their behaviour coming from? They will mimic others, and they will try and impress others. Who are they hanging around, and what are they watching on television and the computer? Is the influence positive on their self-development, or is it going in a direction that may lead them into trouble? To have a finger on the pulse as a parent is essential. Am I monitoring what they are viewing? Do I know their friends? Can I encourage or discourage (in a subtle way) who they spend time with?
- Do they know what is expected of them? Are they given age appropriate boundaries? The big one is, am I being consistent, and am I following through?
- What are their natural tendencies and priorities? Each child is different. Some will be organised, some won’t. Some can cope with change, others can’. Some are academic, others are hands on. Some are willing participants in life, others are content to be a spectator. My focus is often different to theirs. They do not care if they practice music, or if they clean their room, or if they only have one haircut in 12 months!! Where can I hold back on my views, to let them learn themselves rather than tell, how can I let go of some of my standards, how can I decide on which battles to choose?
- Are there underlying issues? Children often don’t have the capacity to express what is going on for them, they don’t know what words, or even understand their own feelings. How can they tell others if they are not aware or unsure themselves? As a parent, am missing the signs, are there conversations I should be having at this point? What could be happening at school, or when our family visits, on social media which I can’t see but could be affecting my child? Am I spending enough one on one time with them just chatting and more importantly just listening and being present?
Parenting is a privilege, and a joy, but it is easy to lose sight of that at times. Hope this blog has helped bring you back on track and appreciate the small things, accept the challenges and work forward in a supportive, happier environment. For valuable parenting advice I recommend Maggie Dent. She has many interesting articles, videos books and other resources that I am sure you will find very helpful. https://www.maggiedent.com/
If you need time out, which is always beneficial for you and your children please phone the team at Cherished Cherubs Babysitting to book a babysitter while you have some fun. A happy mother is a happy family. Phone: 0417 927 525 or book online at: www.cherishedcherubs.com.au