Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Just in case anyone was wondering, our days are not always hunky-dory perfect in our house.  I wish I lived in a world where everyone cleans up their messes the first time they are asked, where everyone says please and thank you, where no one ever dares to hit their sister, and where Mom never, ever gets upset or frustrated in any way.  Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in!  Not a day goes by without some sort of challenge in parenting.  Each day is full of highs and lows; I just choose to focus on the highs for the purposes of this blog.  But every now and then, it is good to address how we deal with the lows too.

Just today I have felt my blood pressure rise several times.  Once early this morning when my girls were not listening, but instead dragging their feet as we were trying to get out the door on time to make it to our 9:00 dentist appointment.  Another time when they were in their room playing, but Hannah got mad at Leah for some reason which resulted in a kicking/screaming match.  And again when that kicking/screaming match woke up their napping little brother.  I can assure you I have taken many deep breaths today!

When I have one (or two or three...) of those moments in my day, I use a varitey of methods to help me deal with my own emotions so that I don't react in a way that I would be disappointed in. I thought I'd share a couple of those methods with you.

Distance:  I sometimes have to find a way to distance myself from the situation at hand.  Sometimes it is as soon as I feel myself getting frustrated.  This morning, as we were running late, I had to step into my room (alone), take a deep breath, and remind myself that if we are late it wouldn't be the end of the world.  It wasn't worth getting worked up about.  Just a few moments by myself really helped in that situation.  Later in the morning,when the girls were fighting, however, I had to immediately step up, place both in time-out (in seperate areas of the house), and then sit down at the kitchen table for a few moments to collect my thoughts.  Sometimes, a little distance can help me refocus.

Thank You List:  During those moments when I can get away and think for a moment, I can either sit and stew on how annoying my children are being at the moment, or I can channel those thoughts into a thank you list.  This idea really clicked with me when I read the book Sacred Parenting last fall.  When we focus on the specific reasons why we are thankful for each child, we start to calm down and our whole attitude changes.  I feel ready to deal with the situation in the right mindset, not out of anger.  Today I had to think of all the reasons why I love and am thankful for my girls.  And when I was done, I could address the kicking/screaming situation in a calm, focused way.

These are just a few "tips" I have for dealing with those challenging moments as a parent.  I am in NO way perfect.  I've yelled.  I've disciplined in anger.  I've let my emotions get the best of me.  But there are many other times where I've been able to deal with the challenge in a good way. A way that helps me shape these little ones into the people they are becoming.


Kim said...

Thanks for the tips/reminders. Great parenting post!

Mocha Mama 24 said...

Its not easy being a parent is it? When I find myself complaining I try to think about how I really desired to have children 6 years ago and that I should be thankful for what I have.

Tanda said...

Great reminders. Thanks Emily! You always seem so calm and patient when you parent, can you rub off on me?

Emily said...

Thanks for the compliment, Tanda. I'm glad that is how you see my parenting skills!!