If at first you don’t succeed.Try, try, try again. – Fredrick Maryat
August has not been my most Conscious Parenting month. At least it hasn’t ended very consciously. And for that reason, I’m starting a new PEACE WEEK, a self-designed, at-home, parenting retreat which helps me sit back and focus on my children and on how my moods, energy, words and behaviors affect them. My first PEACE WEEK was a great success, but it was a while ago, so I definitely need another parenting tune in. Stay Tuned for more PEACE WEEK posts this week.
However, before things started going downhill, I did remember to use some of my more helpful conscious parenting practices and they typically work when I’m conscious enough to use them. Here are a few, mostly for addressing frustration in younger children.
Do you need help or time?
When my four-year-old isn’t able to do something the first time she tries it, she immediately launches into an angry tirade about whatever the “bad” thing is not doing what she wants it to. Instead of launching into an over-her-head explaination about how things are neither good nor bad, or the concept of “operator error,” I try to remember to ask her, “Do you need help or time?” She usually answers, “TIME!” and will continue to struggle until she figures it out, but once in a while she will ask for help and I will step in. Asking that simple question allows me to keep from getting caught up in her frustration or rushing in to help. It also allows her to stop and think for a minute, which sometimes allows for a pause in the tirade, and gives her a feeling of control over the situation.
It seems like you are having a hard time right now, is there something I can do to hep?
This is one that I should be using more often, but haven’t put into use much yet. A lot of scenarios I envision using this in are tantrums in public, where I kneel down, look her in the eye and say the above quote. And in my dream scenario, she stops screaming, sniffs, gives me a big hug and says, “I love you, Mommy!” But up to this point, the actual scenarios play out more like you would imagine – a mother with a bag on one arm, a toddler in the other, hissing threats to a screaming child in the middle of a horrified crowd of onlookers. And so I refer to the initial quote in the post, “If at first you don’t succeed…”.
There is a lot of talk in the world of relationship self-help of “love tanks” that affect our moods and our feelings towards our partners. In our family, we call it a “snuggle tank,” and (again, when I am conscious enough to remember…) We’ve talked about how we feel when our snuggle tank is full and when it is low or empty. One day we drew a picture, and hung it on the wall, listing all of the things that fill her tank (playing with friends, reading books, swimming, time with Mommy or Daddy, etc.) and all of the things that deplete it (being overtired, being scared, receiving unwanted attention, etc.). I try to catch her as soon as she starts to act off in some way and ask how her snuggle tank is doing. If I catch her in time and she’ll let me snuggle her for a bit, sometimes, it helps. It also helps to be proactive. Just being conscious of the things that fill and deplete her and making sure to try to avoid or limit the latter, can help avoid unnecessary stress or frustration (for both of us!).
Conscious Parenting Resources
This month, I’ve been listening to a few of interviews on the free Mastering Motherhood Summit for helping Mothers find balance in their lives. It isn’t specifically on Conscious Parenting, but is a free positive resource for parents, so I thought I would share.
I also recently read an inspiring post on Seven Ways to be a Healthy, Happy, Mindful Mama.
Thanks for Reading!
How about you? Have you found any inspiring Conscious Parenting resources or tools that work for your family? If so, I’d love to hear about them!
Sharon, Author, The Conscious Parenting Notebook