How Self-Care Improves Parenting

parenting self-care Nov 07, 2019

Self-care could be the single most important tool in parenting.

My mood, temperament, body language, even the words I use, and facial expressions play a role in what will happen between me and my child.

I am the leader in my household whether I want to be or not. Even if I'm still trying to figure out who I am and what I need in this world, my girls are waiting for me to set the stage and define the mood. Sometimes I can’t be the positive, loving, and empathetic person I set out to be. Sometimes my childhood and other issues get in the way of expressing the lighthearted and fun-loving person that I was born to be.

I am a product of my upbringing. It molded many of my initial responses to parenting. Those first reactions were on autopilot, and if I'm not mindful, I can slip back into this type of behavior. This is where my gut reaction gets in the way of thinking rationally. Even when I know that yelling isn’t productive, I still end up yelling or at least really wanting...

Continue Reading...

What Can I Do When My Child is Upset?

emotions Nov 07, 2019

What can I do when my child is upset? 

Parenting can be a tough road to travel because as our children grow up and face new challenges, we face the same challenges right along with them. In the heat of the emotion of temper tantrums and meltdowns, it can be difficult to remember that as parents, we have the advantage of foresight and understanding that our children don’t yet possess. And, with this tool of knowledge, we are in a position to help calm their storms. 

When I first became a parent, I was way more reactive than responsive. Armed with only the tools from my own upbringing, all I knew was that strong emotions were a bad thing and should be squelched, so when my children became upset,  I would do ANYTHING to get their discomfort (and mine) to stop. It was almost as if I was feeling what they were feeling and could not bear to endure their disquiet. Even with small discomforts, I became anxious and felt like I had to fix whatever was broken so that they...

Continue Reading...

Parenting Can Feel Isolating

The moment I left my job to stay home with Esme, I felt alone. Alone in a way I had never experienced. It was isolation coupled with the unknowing that left me at a loss. I was doing a job I knew nothing about, with zero training, no real mentors and monumental tasks and expectations. Overnight I would become the entire sustainability for another human being—one that was my flesh and blood, one I wanted more than anything and knew nothing about.

My friends were of no help. I was the first to have a child and they were all steadfast in their careers and single adult living. I quickly became jealous and resentful. I couldn’t even go to lunch or coffee or even a walk around the block without my baby. I was chained to her and there was no getting away, EVER. I was trapped and felt like a caged animal.

Because I wanted to have a family so desperately, acknowledging the isolation felt guilty and wrong, almost as if I didn’t have the right to be upset or have my feelings...

Continue Reading...

Self-Regulation: How to Get Your Kids to Be Self-Regulating

When our kids are upset, we all hope they can say; “You know I didn’t really like it when my brother was unkind to me, and that’s why I am so upset today.” Yet, it takes a highly evolved and emotionally intelligent human to know where their larger feelings of upset are coming from. Sometimes those upsets and emotional reactions come long after the initial offense and can also be triggered by an unrelated action. Instead most of us, kids and adults, take out our upsets on the safest and closest people in our orbit. We lash out at those who will love us no matter what. When this happens with our children many of us take those outbursts personally. Sometimes we believe our child is displeased with us or is being unkind because they do not understand this type of behavior is hurtful and not acceptable. This is just not true.

Our children do not want to make us angry or push us into our own upset. They are merely just reacting to what is happening for them...

Continue Reading...

How to Bring your Extended Family Along in Your Positive Parenting Journey

Having your extended family be a part of helping you raise your kids can be extremely beneficial but at times challenging. If we are lucky enough to have our parents nearby, they may even be helping us on a regular basis. This comes with both the ultimate feeling of security as we leave our kids in the care of those who are closest to us and also unwanted triggers as we see our folks use the same parenting methods which we may not always agree. Finding the right balance between allowing our parents to care for our children in their own way and giving them an idea of how we would like our kids treated can be quite tricky. Our parents did the best job parenting us with what they knew. In fact, we all do what we think is right for our kids. We know more now about interpersonal relationships, especially with regard to those between child and parent.

My sweet dad moved to Los Angeles and became our “manny” when Esme was born over 13 years ago. He was retired and spent...

Continue Reading...

Speak Your Truth

I believe there is freedom in speaking our truth about our challenging parenting experiences—almost a liberation. Making these moments part of the narrative is essential for our generation to move forward in a better way. Why? Two reasons. First, we mustn’t let others believe they
are alone in their struggles. Every parent out there has days they feel defeated and alone. Secondly, if we fail to recognize our transgressions than they will eat us alive, making it easier
to repeat our patterns. I implore you to talk about the time you screamed at your child or the demeaning things you said out of anger and frustration because this is the honest truth in parenting. If we can bring these things to light and decide we want more, choose to do better and move away from conventionalities, then we can push forward a new movement. Admitting our wrongdoings and missteps or merely saying how difficult parenting is does not mean we love our kids any less.


Parenting is so confounding and...

Continue Reading...

How Do I Get My Kids to Listen to Me?

listening obedience Nov 07, 2019

This is the most common question I receive from parents, and it's extremely frustrating when I encounter this issue with my daughters. Defiance is the kind of thing that will bring you to your knees. It’s debilitating, embarrassing and mind-boggling all at the same time. 

I remember the first time Esme defied me. She was 2, and we were at the door getting ready to leave. I asked her to put on her shoes (nicely, I might add). She refused, threw her shoe down the hall hitting the wall and a hanging photo. I lost my mind, I couldn’t believe the daughter I had breastfed for two years, never let out of my sight, co-slept with and did everything you were “supposed” to do to be an attached parent…refused to do as I asked. I was married to the idea that if I responded to my daughter’s needs and spent all of my time with her, she would grow up happy and obedient. I was sadly and sorely mistaken. After asking her several times to put her shoes on, I...

Continue Reading...

10 Things to Cultivate a Deeper Bond with Your Kids

bonding connection harmony Nov 07, 2019

CREATING MORE HARMONY IN YOUR HOME

1. Take care of yourself because nobody else will. Honestly, find something kind to do for yourself each day. Even a shower, a walk or a cup of tea. 

2. Use empathy, even when you think you can’t...it’s you're saving grace. If we can see things from our child’s point of view, even when you may not agree or feel that they “need” to be upset…they are having feelings and all feelings are valid and important. Conveying the idea that we understand will garner much goodwill with our children. 

3. Be affectionate and kind. Come with love, kindness, hugs, and kisses as much as possible because our children are little sponges and they may not reflect that kindness right away while they are disconnected but over time they will learn to be kind humans. 

4. Play with your kids, every day if you can. It’s transformative. Sometimes it’s unmanageable to play...

Continue Reading...

The Magic Pill

There is much talk about teaching our kids to self-regulate, use impulse control and learn to react calmly to adversity. This is all well and good but merely talking about it and wanting it to happen certainly doesn't ensure that our children will move through adverse situations with ease because we merely want them to. We can tell them to calm down and take deep breathes, use their words and make good choices, but again, will they magically internalize this way to "be" just because we have told them that's what is best?

When we don't react with yelling, anger, threats, bribes, and consequences which certainly are no model of self-regulation, we often times engage in the "talking to" the secret word for "lecturing". We explain things ad nauseam with the expectation that our children will look at us with utter adoration and agree with how much sense we are making, thereby altering their behavior to be more acceptable. When has that ever happened? Do they appease us by agreeing...

Continue Reading...

Big Messy Feelings

feelngs Nov 07, 2019

I naturally gravitate toward peace and tranquility, so my first reaction when I hear something unsettling from my girls is to say STOP and squash any negative feelings and upsets. Quiet is where I live best in my organic state, so when there's a conflict with my girls, my natural instinct pushes me to shut them down completely to make sure they don’t have any big feelings. I don’t necessarily do well when people around me aren’t doing well. It’s almost as if my nervous system goes directly into flight. I urgently need to exit and find tranquility.

When you have kids there is no leaving or taking a break and coming back later, so since I am unable to run away, I just want everyone to be quiet. No feelings, no messiness. Just be calm, clean and quiet. However, children are emotionally disheveled and chaotic, immature and irrational. These little people are just learning how to “be” in this world. Figuring out what it feels like to be hurt and angry,...

Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

50% Complete

Form

By joining the Peace and Parenting community you agree to receive encouraging emails weekly from Peace and Parenting. (You may unsubscribe at any time.)