Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Forgetting Ourself


It’s hard, sometimes, to be a gentle parent. Especially when we didn’t grow up with gentle parents. Even then, parenting can be hard. Really hard; and all of us parents know that – just some of us have more emotional skills than others. That doesn’t make those parents better or worse than the others.

Sometimes when our children are not following our agenda, and on our time, they push back. As gentle parents, it’s our job to acknowledge why they’re pushing back, and validate their feelings. But things still can be frustrating for us. Especially if we ran out of time to take our time.

So in these moments it’s important to validate our own feelings.

We have to remember to be as gentle with ourselves as we are trying to be with our children.

Sometimes we need to tell ourself, “okay I’m feeling frustrated”, “I’m disappointed with myself because I didn’t plan enough time”, “I’m nervous I’m going to get in trouble for being late for work”, “I’m anxious that it makes me look bad when I have poor timing”, “i’m upset that things are not going smoothly”, etc.

Children learn gentleness best by their parents and others being gentle with them; but also by watching others be gentle with themselves. This is important, too, because we can’t always be there when our children are having a hard time. Sometimes they’re in school, daycare, at a friend’s, at their other parents place, grandparents place, etc. In these moments, they can begin to practice treating themselves how they have watched others treat themselves.

More so, we just need to cut ourself some slack. We set high enough standards for ourselves when trying to better our children and our future Generations.

Breath in, breathe out. We’re only human. It is okay if life feels a little heavy sometimes.


Related Posts

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Ways For Kids to Burn Off Energy Indoors


Sometimes being outside isn’t always an option, so kids get pent up energy – resulting in them finding ways to burn off the energy that are often frowned upon or unsafe. While some parents resort to tv, it only temporarily suspends the energy but doesn’t solve the problem itself – that children’s muscles are seeking stimulation for both sensory and growth purposes.


The answer?


What’s called “maximum effort activities”. See below for a list of easy, at-home activities that will burn off some steam.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

8 Benefits of Classical Music


Did you know classical music is soothing for all ages? Both parents and children finding themselves stressed out can try dim lighting and soft classical music – piano is optimum.

Research shows classical music can actually raise dopamine levels too – helping with depressive moods, trouble focusing, over stimulation, and chaotic thoughts.

• Positive auditory sensory stimulation
• Calming
• Clears chaotic thoughts
• Inspiration
• Healing and nurturing to the mental and emotional spirit
• Improves sleep
• Improves focus
• Lowers blood pressure

Reccomendations

Some of my favorites are Claire du Lune and Reverie by debussy, feure de leis by Beethoven, Nocturne by Chopin, BWV 988 by Bach, and Piano Concerto 21 by Mozart.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day


Many parents that grew up in an athoritarian, strict, cold environment remember how difficult it was on them as kids, and chose to parent differently with their own kids.

Those parents face many hard situations feeling alone, as they try to teach their children understanding, empathy, compassion, and patience in situations when big emotions are being felt because they lack some of these skills themselves.

If you’re not sure if this is you, you can read up here on what it’s like to have unknown, unresolved issues from your childhood.

It’s hard to parent differently, because we only know what we have been taught. So I’m just here to remind you today, that you’re not alone with this battle to do better than what you know, and that your efforts alone are doing great work for your babies and future generations.

Don’t listen to those voices telling you “its not working”, or “you’re spoiling your kids”, or “you need to be harder on them”.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. 💕💕

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Questions, Concerns and Responses, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Parenting Regimen and Origin


Hello everyone! I have created a short survey/questionnaire so I can learn more about other parents. It is completely anonymous and I would greatly appreciate all responses.

Thank you!

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Adversarial Relationships


(Synopsis from Raising Your Spirited: Chapter 6)

Researchers tell us that when we get caught in an adversarial relationship with our children, we end up with more, not fewer, behavioural issues in the long run. More troubling, we fall out of love with our sons and daughters.

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

When parents let their emotions get to them during situations with their kids (when they are not doing what the parents want), it begins to wear away at the relationship between the parent and child.

It can be frustrating when your child is refusing to get their shoes on, or get out the door or follow your plans for the day. You tell them once, you told them twice, and by the third time you’re screaming through tight lips, and they are returning the disposition because their agendas are different than yours. When parents allow the frustration and heightened emotions to take over them, they end up taking a step back from their relationship because they are trying to control the situation by controlling the child. Often with parents it comes down to putting threats or manipulation on the table, such as, “if you don’t put your shoes on right now, no more TV for the rest of the day!” Or, “if you put your shoes on and get in the car, you can have some juice”.

Oftentimes there’s no acknowledgement of the child’s agenda or feelings. Which in turn heightens the child’s want to push them away, especially in the moment, and disregard the parent’s wishes to do as they wish.

Until children are afraid of their parents, they will match the attitude and responses presented.

It’s not about obedience, its about kids’ feeling respected and heard, and not understanding why their parent’s agenda is more important than their own.

At the end of it, both parent and child are worn down from the intense emotions and situation; feeling emotionally bruised and battered as well as distanced from each other.

Have you ever wondered whether parents who always seem to stay calm, have a secret?

They do. It’s how they view their child.

So how do you change these outcomes in the situations? You have to enter them and exit them with your energy being calm. With your body and mind being peaceful. With calm energy you are focussed on each other; able to listen and enjoy each other’s presence. You can ask your daughter to get in the car and she simply does it. Or if she resists it,

you are able to think quickly enough to squat down on her eye level and commiserate with her about how frustrating it is to discontinue her activity, and then help her find a stopping point.

The two of you remain calm, listen to one another, and work together. The power struggle never occurs. There never has to be a power struggle.

Remember to pay attention to your interpretation of your child’s reactions.

As Author and Doctor Mary Sheedy Kurcinka writes, parents are quick to assume that: she’s manipulating me, he’s testing me, he’s being defiant, he doesn’t like me, she’s being out of control, she’s trying to get away with everything, he intentionally makes me late for work.

We need to realize that children lack the ability to communicate what their heart and mind truly desires. So their body shows it in their actions. They don’t have the reasoning of an adult. We all know an adult would think to themselves, “well I don’t want to be passive aggressive, or even outright aggressive, I should just tell them how I’m feeling” right? Your job as parents to teach them how to do that

I’ve learned that sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.”

Unknown

Dr. Kurcinka is an award-winning lecturer and parent educator. She provides private consultations and workshops nationally and internationally for parents and professionals serving Children.

For more information, learning, and material from Dr. Kurcinka, visit http://www.parentchildhelp.com

Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Release Yourself


There are two types of guilt. Functional guilt and dysfunctional guilt

Functional guilt serve the purpose, it makes you feel bad – guilty – when you have done something wrong. It urges you to do the right thing. For example if you lashed out at your coworker or spouse because you were in a bad mood; Or say as a child, you stole something from someone. In this case, guilt is functional and helps you think about what you did wrong and how to make it right and what to try not to do in the future.

Dysfunctional guilt does not serve a purpose. Like when you feel guilty for something happening that was out of your control or beyond your circumstance. This type of guilt just makes you feel bad without a solution. People dwell on the feeling and allow it to bring them down despite the situation not being a result of the “guilty person’s” direct intent or action. For example, kids often feel bad or guilty when something happens to their parents – like if they lose their job or have no money to pay the bills. As adults we sometimes feel guilty when we have friends or family in bad situations and cannot help them. We feel guilty because we think we SHOULD be helping them, or fixing their situation. The reality of it though, is that you are not the cause of their situation, you don’t have intentions to make them endure a hard time, and this type of guilt does not serve a helping purpose.

You can let go of dysfunctional guilt and accept the situation as is while still showing empathy and compassion.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Emotional Dysregulation And Invalidating Environments


Emotional vulnerability is emotional sensitivity, emotional reactivity, and a slow return to emotional baseline.
(Linehan 1993a)

An invalidating environment is when people/parents tell you you’re wrong for experiencing your emotions. They may even punish you or ignore you when you get emotional. In some cases, people may acknowledge your emotions, but in a case where they are the ones causing them, they will not stop and instead keep doing what they’re doing to hurt you.

Another example of an invalidating environment, is when you are punished for being defensive or reacting in a defensive or emotional way during a conversation or argument. For example, if someone does or says something and you tell them that’s not fair to you or that what they have done has hurt you and their response is ‘waah, it’s all about you isn’t’, then in turn you get defensive and upset because they didn’t care how you felt, and finally their response is ‘i’m not your emotional punching bag’.

This will make anyone go crazy.

Now put someone like a child a who naturally is emotionally dysregulated and its adults jobs to guide them into regulation.

Invalidating children and any adult plants a seed of mental distress and disorders; that over time, without help and WITH persistent unhelpful invalidating environments, blossom into a plethora of mental and emotional struggles.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

It’s Not Hard To Better Yourself; It’s Hard To Watch Others Not


One of the hardest parts I found of becoming a mother, was bettering myself. Not the act of bettering myself, but watching others who are parents, not.

Becoming a parent, it was easy for me to reflect on my childhood and to know that some things when I grew up were very wrong, and that I wanted to do a lot better for my child. I know many parents feel and think they are doing their best, but I also feel that there is an immense amount of support for struggling parents freaking out during hard times and not enough support for the children also going through the hard times.

As a society, we continue to see more and more emerging education in cases of mental health struggles. Three-quarters of the population struggle with their mental health at one time or another. I truly believe it has to do with the way previous generations raised their children, and the emotional neglect begins to surface when those children have grown and became self-sufficient adults.

I am so thankful that the world is growing in terms of mental health education and help, otherwise I would be one of the many people struggling to get by everyday. But I see so many other parents that don’t reflect on their struggles as a child, and learn from them to better parent their own children, and honestly, that leaves me fairly judgemental. There’s so much ignorance.

The problem is that if we don’t face our childhood, we risk repeating the same mistakes generations before us made when parenting – the number one mistake being emotional neglect.

You see Facebook posts, Instagram posts, memes and jokes about “Mommy needs a glass of wine”, “my kid won’t leave me alone”, complaining about how difficult their children are being, or how annoying their kids can be. In parenting groups, parents post about stressful and nerve breaking moments with their children. How the mom or dad snapped, how they slipped up and hit their child out of frustration, and all the feedback is always in support of the parent. Always reminding them that they are human and make mistakes and that it’s okay that kids are resilient. There is never any guidance how to move forward in a positive way and explain what happened to the child, that it wasn’t okay for mom or dad to act that way, that they are sorry. I do agree that we need to recognize parents emotions and validate them, because I do agree that parenting can be really frustrating at times and definitely push you to the edge. That is not an excuse, however, for poor behavior nor should it condone it in hard times.

The fact that your child just acted like a complete and utter asshole to you is not a get-out-of-jail card to be a complete and utter asshole back.

They are a child, their brain is still developing, and regardless of how mature they may seem, they still need guidance and education about their bodies, feelings and emotions. Just because the way they feel about a situation doesn’t chock up to the way in adult would feel about it does not mean their feelings should be invalidated or belittled. Their world is much different than ours – as is their perception of it and parents need to stop expecting a child to perceive the world through an adults perception.

Another thing I see frequently, are children’s emotions being completely ignored; their bids for attention being completely ignored. Parents sometimes act like children are a burden to them. As if acting like that has no effect on the child whatsoever, or like it could make them stronger in some way, or more independent.

As frustrating as it is for me to see this, and not bark my opinion at them, what I actually see is a broken adult in denial of their own childhood. What also continues to frustrate me, is no matter how many resources are out there, no matter how many mutual friends post information for these parents to learn from, no matter how many times an article is shared that shows up on one of these parents news feeds – they won’t see it, read it, or take it seriously unless they know and are ready to change. So in reality, more than likely, most of the educational information, articles, videos, Etc., that I am dying for certain parents or family members or friends to see and learn from, won’t.

Parenting Yourself, Seriously

How Do You Parent Children If You Do Not Remember Your Own Childhood?


Research shows most should remember their childhood from about 4 years and up; unless your memory is suppressing negative events.

The area of mental development from birth to age 3 or 4 in which children and adults cannot recall is called Childhood or Infantile Amnesia; caused by the underdevelopement of the cognitive area responsible for storing and encoding memory.

Around the age of 7-10 years, the mind goes through a forgetful stage which unimportant short term and long term memories are quickly forgotten. However, ages 11 and up show equal remembering and forgetting abilities to that of an average adult.

Some, however, say they don’t remember their childhood at all.

If you don’t remember what it’s like to be a child yourself, can you really parent confidently? If you don’t take the time to understand, learn, read, etc., about a child’s mental development and emotional needs, to make up for what you don’t remember, how can you be sure they aren’t hurting from what they are lacking from you? Are you not afraid to make mistakes realizing that the interpretation of a child versus an adult is vastly different?

On another note, are you not concerned that you don’t remember your childhood?

Those who do not remember their childhood at all should to seek assistance in recovering those forgotten memories, as they are the key to becoming a better parent and creating a better childhood. In remembering your childhood, you learn as an adult who you were as a child. Furthermore, understanding your childhood aids in the process of self-understanding and indentifying unknown triggers, mindsets, moods, and reactions towards your children’s behavior.

Read my page on identifying your unknown triggers here.

Oftentimes, lack of childhood memories is a result of suppressing events as a survival instinct. A tactic in place by nature to let you move forward. Sometimes it’s a conscious choice and sometimes it is a subconscious choice. The cause behind memory suppressing does not always need to be traumatic events or devastating circumstances. It can be caused due to a progression of disappointment and sadness. It can be caused due to confusing times you didn’t understand. It can be even be due to a time that was once so happy but no longer exists. A time your mind chooses to forget to prevent yearning for it, and the pain of remembering what you don’t have anymore.

Neglect during early development can produce severe psychopathologies, such as depression and anxiety, as well as learning and cognitive disabilities.
If you were depressed or anxious during your childhood, there is much benefit from remembering and understanding it so that you can make sure to not repeat the patterns your parents did. More importantly, it helps you remember and understand how life is interpreted through the eyes of a child.

As a child passed the age of autobiographical memory developement, childhood recollection is often also associated with a sense of identity. I.e., a childhood spent not knowing who you are is difficult for the brain to process memories, resulting in areas of lost time when reflecting back to younger ages.

If you are one who doesn’t remember your childhood, when did you start remembering?

When do your recollections of memories begin?

Why do you think you don’t remember your childhood?

Why do you think you started remembering when you did?

How old were you when you start at remembering? What was going on in your life?

If you are interested in trying to retrieve some of the lost memories:

As well as the frame in which they exist, researchers Bauer and Larkina (2013) used the Cued Recall method. At the end of the study, it was found most memories started between the ages of 3 and 5. Unfortunately, the downfall to this test and method of retrieval is that the memories are formed months after their association with word given, and time frames are a mere estimate without verification by an additional adult who was there during the memory.

During the Cued Recall method, a person/experimenter gives a participant one word at a time, and the participant responds with the first association with that word that comes to mind and the earliest time in their life they can recall it.


Resources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/media-spotlight/201404/exploring-childhood-amnesia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childhood_amnesia

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0882-7974.12.3.524

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473198/

Heim and Nemeroff, 2001; https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=Heim+and+Nemeroff,+2001&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3D1ny1ngwAVFMJ

Other researchers and their articles:
Pryce ., 2005; Zeanah ., 2009; Bale., 2010; Perry and Sullivan, 2014).