Some days are undeniably challenging parenting days and they are so much worse than others. They are the days where you think to yourself, this is just so darn hard. Nothing I say or do works out the way I want it to, and I just feel like hiding under the covers all day. I want to escape being a parent. Then you are reminded that that is completely impossible so here are some things you can do to rid yourself of challenge and live the family life you love.
5 steps to go from challenging parenting to living the family life you love
1. Grab a moment to yourself
- You are it, and naturally, this can become too much at times. By spending a brief moment on your own, you can step away, see clearly, and move yourself back to being inspiring.
- If you are able to escape, go for a walk – exercise is always a number 1 answer for clearing your head. Take a few deep breaths, (oxygen to the brain helps with thinking clearly – (breathing “inspiring” in through your nose, and “Challenging” out through your mouth. Hit the pillow for a quick 1/2 hour recharge. Hide in the kitchen with a cup of tea, call a girlfriend, and whine about your kids (but only for a short while.)
2. Change the tempo in you room
- Often the mood tends to affect everyone and it is hard to get out of the spiral of it all, so do what you can to change the mood in your room. The fastest way to do this is to generate the opposite of the current mood.
- If everyone is quiet, pump up the music and dance around, go outside and kick the ball, do something physical. If everyone is really loud and energised, play a board game, a card game something that you can all do together in a quiet calm way.
- Some rooms in the house are more conducive to calm and others to raucous so move around so that you achieve the mood and emotion you want.
- Outdoors or indoors, go to the park or the beach. Change your space so that you can change the atmosphere that is currently pervading your home.
3. Check your family vitals
- Being busy or on the go, you sometimes forget that you need to keep energy levels up so do a quick vitals check on the health status of you and family members.
- When last did everyone eat,
- When last did you drink water? (By the time you are thirsty; you are already dehydrated leading to headaches and bad moods).
- Has everyone had enough sleep? Is everyone spending enough time on their own and with other people (family, friends, kids’ friends etc.) Or are you spending too much time hanging out together.
- Siblings need space from each other.
- Is your child’s behaviour age appropriate or are you expecting too much from them?
4. Focus your attention on someone else
- Find some time to spend with each family member individually – (especially the one challenging you most at the time.)
- Offer your time as an incentive – each child gets a turn with you and to entertain themselves – that way, everyone is nurtured.
- Start a group project where everyone has a designated task – bake a cake or make dinner, fold the washing.
5. Keep your thinking real
- Remind yourself that this too will pass – it is easy to get so caught up in the moment that you forget, that this day is the exception.
- Even though it might feel like it, your kids are unlikely to be playing up to get under your skin. It is just one of those days.
- Ask yourself – is it a fact or an opinion because in most cases, your children are NOT really trying to drive you crazy – they are just doing what they do – taking very little notice of you.
Being a parent is all, all consuming all the time and all about every single emotion imaginable. There is no time for the nothing and very little time to dwell on the challenges. Getting connected and focusing on spending quality time with each of your kids and quality time with yourself is the best way to keep everyone in your family nurtured. They deserve it and and so do you!