How my resolution turned me into a better parenting role model

Why parents who have their shit together make excellent role modelsEvery year as the countdown to the new year begins, we are inundated with social media messages enticing us to make our New Year’s resolution, spend our dollars, be drawn into the promise of the next year being our best year ever. Have you sworn to yourself that this year will be different, you will stick to your resolution and finally achieve the goals you set for yourself?

Have you promised yourself, “This year I will… lose weight, get married, start a business, have a baby, stop smoking, get organised, stop yelling, get fit…

The list is endless, and for most of us, our best year ever is over before the month of January is done.

What if I challenge you to turn this year’s resolution on its head, don’t make this year your best year ever, who cares about the year? Get deliberate, how about you make this year the start of your best life ever?

I can say this, because for so long I lived my life in a daze, wishing and hoping things would be different.

Until I made a decision and I resolved to be the best parent I could be under all circumstances.  No New Year’s resolution was ever going to get me the result I wanted.  I needed to address each of the obstacles that were standing in my way of being the best parent possible, and many of these obstacles began long before I became a parent.

Reminiscing about growing up, makes me cringe, I want to repress as much as possible. I am embarrassed to say that it felt traumatic for me though I am thankful that I had no real idea of what trauma was. I am grateful that despite thinking that it was traumatic, it was not. I was not abused, not taken advantage of, and I was not hurt by anyone. The worst part is that I was the enemy, I was the one who mentally abused myself the most.

I grew up full of doubt, fixated on the idea that no-one liked me and that I could not get anything right.

I knew my parents loved me but imagined that this was because they had to. I was lucky to have siblings and good friends, but the ongoing negative conversations I had in my head would have left most psychiatrists rubbing their hands with excitement at the prospect of examining my mind.

I replayed dialogues, what could I do better, how could I be better, how could I get the cool kids to like me?

I obsessed over my body and it’s imperfections as if being an ideal weight, would turn me into a happy person, my life would be perfect when I weighed some magical perfect number. I dreamed of a boyfriend, but no relationship seemed to be on the horizon.

I berated myself when I lost my temper.

The negative self-talk and my hostile mind refused to shut up.

Not once did I consider that I had a good brain, great friends and that my determination and physical and mental capability would empower me to achieve any goal that I set for myself.

Not once did I imagine that anyone else could be experiencing these same doubts.

I was miserable, I was sad and, I felt lonely. I was too scared to share these apprehensions with anyone for fear of instant rejection. Who would ever want to hang out with someone so imperfect in every way?

I continually cast aside any of my positive points and harped on every possible reason why no one liked me.

If only I had known then what I know now, I would have saved myself hours and hours of pain. I never seriously contemplated suicide, but so often I wished I were dead so that I did not need to face the day ahead, which might be the same thing.

I know my parents had no idea what was going on in my mind. I refused to share my thoughts, my worries my concerns, but I wish that I had the courage to discuss these nagging thoughts. I was lucky that I was able to suppress my thoughts enough to make it through this challenging time, and that enjoying the great things in my life exceeded my perceived problems.

When I contemplate any child going through this alone I am devastated; I know my parents would be destroyed to know the pain I experienced. I do not want any child to have to experience the self-doubt I lived with for so long.

How resolutions help you become a better parenting role model

When you become a parent, it is the most powerful personal growth experience imaginable. It is like you have New Year’s Day every day, it is as if you wake up and can resolve to do better today.

You decide what you will and will not do, you have clarity about the type of parent you will be, you know that you will get everything your parents did wrong right. You have the opportunity to recreate yourself, and you will show your children the best way so that they never experience self-doubts. Or so you think, and then reality sets in.

If your mind is filled with doubts from your past, worries of matters unresolved, you will struggle to be the best parent possible, and you will pass these doubts, fears and concerns on to your children.

I did promise myself that I would not yell at my children, I would be a fabulous parent, I would get everything right, but I could not deliver, because all my doubts, stresses, pains and worries, came flooding back.

Only when I worked through each of these doubts, challenged my warped thinking and confirmed that I was worth it, confirmed that I too deserved the love and care I was giving my children, was I able to be the best parent possible to my children. To encourage them, connect with them and understand them in a way that I never felt understood.

Before I was able to cast my doubts and my destructive thinking aside, I needed clarity of my life’s purpose. I needed to know how I could contribute to each and every person who has ever felt any doubt, or been unsure of their place in the world. I had to know how I could help the person who is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of their success. It took effort and focus for me to live my best life ever and be the excellent role model for my children as I always imagined I would be.

Of course, this does not mean I am perfect, far from it, but I know I am giving it my very best effort and no-one can do better than that.

You have the power to influence the life of your child, with your choice of words and actions. When you affect someone who is counting on you, you are obliged to get it right, you have to do your best, and you have to be able to put your head on the pillow at night knowing that you have done your best.

I know that when parents start to work with me, they are often feeling guilty about something. Mums lament that they don’t spend enough time with their kids, they yell at them, they are not always available, they have become the parent they did not want to be, they do not treat themselves as a priority. Parents berate themselves that they do the wrong thing and that they are doing a horrible job of everything rather than a great job. So much negative self-talk. So much wasted energy.

Working on the way you approach your life is the only pathway to connected, calm and positive relationships with your children, boosting their self-confidence, enhancing their resilience and bolstering their ability to connect.

Until you get your act together as a parent, you will struggle to be an excellent role model. Don’t wait till it is the end of January 2016 to think to yourself, next year I will do it, I will achieve my goals of being a better parent in 2017.

Stop making excuses, get started now on living your best life ever and become the excellent role model for your children you know you want to be. Get rid of the dysfunction, clear up the communication blocks and barriers and heal the relationships.  Create harmony in your home and live the family life of your dreams.

I am here to hold your hand, hold you accountable and help you be the best you possible. Discover if you are worth it, I know you are, do you?

Contact me so that we can help

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