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.


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The Signs Your Child Is Feeling Out Of Touch With You


There are 4 main signs your child can be expressing when they are feeling out of touch, and 4 main signs that you may be doing as a prarent that can be contributing to the way your child feels – it can be any one of these signs for child and parent; it doesn’t need to be all the signs.

• They’re more irritable
• They’re more aggressive/rough
• They’re listening less than usual
• They’re more clingy or doing things to get your attention
• You’ve noticed you’ve had to tell them ‘not right now’ more frequently
• You’ve been more focused on your own checklist lately i.e., cleaning, organizing, phone calls
• You’ve been on your phone multiple times when they are trying to get your attention
• You have had less one on one time with your child lately

The signs expressed by kids of any age when they’re feeling out of touch also copy the signs of many other things that can being on; such as

• Growth spurts
• Sleeping regressions
• Lack of sleep
• Hungry
• Teething
• Illness/injury

It is important when kids are expressing any behaviour out of norm that you reflect on what’s been going on in their life AS WELL AS yours.

If kids are feeling as if their emotional and attachment needs are not being met, less fullfilled than usual, or that their weekly schedule is going off track – most do not understand how to verbalize this, or feel comfortable doing so.

So what can we as parents do? Even though we may feel like we aren’t doing anything different, your child feels differently. It is important not to decline their feelings or their reality, and to make them feel heard.

• Help them name their emotions they are feeling – so that both your child and you understand
• Try to make room in your day for more one on one time
• Challenge yourself to an hour without your phone – put it down and out of sight. Interact and play with your child, be more hands on, and share some cuddles
• Get your child more involved with YOUR world. Have them help you in the kitchen i.e., measuring, mixing, getting ingredients, setting the table. Have them help you clean and organize, or help outside with gardening or yard clean up. The goal isn’t to get them doing CHORES, but for you to do these things TOGETHER. If you have an older child whom isn’t interested in a chore-related activity – offer to do a trade: you do an activity of ‘your world’ together, and then you do an activity of ‘their world’ together