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What are some examples of self-talk that you say to yourself when you are faced with stressful situations with your child to help you be the best parent you can be to keep yourself calm and self-regulate?
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What a great question. I really try to take a few deep breaths before I say or do anything. I also try to be sure my kids see me taking these deep breaths because I tell them to do it so often!
I also am honest and try to say how I'm feeling in a calm and safe way. In my head, I'm always saying to myself that how I act setting the example for my kids. So I work really hard to be calm and composed, but honest about my feelings.
I am a reactive person by nature and so in this respect, parenting has been an ongoing challenge for me. I have had to teach myself to pause (and breathe) before reacting and often it is in those one or two seconds that I am able to remind myself that I can control the way in which I am going to respond. When I am really upset or frustrated, I have learned to walk away until I am calm. That way I know that when I do respond, it is my rational brain and not my anger doing the talking.
When my children were pre-teens and pushing all of their boundaries (and my buttons), I often found the words "remember, you're the adult" running though my mind. It helped to remind me that yes, my kids might be behaving badly, but their brains are not yet fully developed and that this stage that they are going through is just a passing phase that will improve in time.
I think that it is always good to remember that the challenges we face are universal and that all around the world there are other parents facing the same stressful situations. This knowledge can make us feel less alone and help us regulate our emotions. At the same time, it can also be helpful to explore why certain behavior is triggering or stressful for us to deal with. If we understand ourselves better, it empowers us to be better parents.
I have always said that when my children are the most annoying, and I want to be away from them, that is when they need me the most. It kind of is opposite thinking.
This theory has held true over the years. When they act their worst, they are really acting out and needing something, like my individual attention. And although I may want to walk away from them, I walk towards them and it helps the situation!
I just talked to myself in the bathroom a couple of minutes ago! LOL!
Well, when things are beyond my control I always whisper to myself, "this too shall pass". I think those affirming words help me to calm down because honestly, I am an overthinker and I worry a lot. So, a friend of mine told me that telling positive, reassuring, and affirming words can be something big for someone like me. And, honestly, it really helps. I tell myself that and I breathe slowly.
I also learned to pause if I get upset over things. This saved me and my relationships a lot because if we are upset, we tend to react negatively and say and do things that are a spur of a moment kind of thing. If you are on a verge of saying something that can be hurtful, or your patience is being tested, breathe deeply, and pause for a couple of minutes, and you will know the big difference it going to give your life.