Accept Thyself – Warts and All
We all have strengths and weaknesses, pet peeves and triggers, or what we broadly call “Your Stuff”. It’s important to be aware of your “stuff” and conscious not to transpose your “stuff” onto your children. This all starts with self-awareness.
For example, if you grew up with a mother who was scared of spiders, you are likely to be scared of them too – after all when you were a baby, you saw how scary a spider is by watching your mother’s reaction! But if you haven’t had a negative experience with spiders, your fear is mostly unfounded. Become conscious of your “stuff” and make an effort not to pass it on to your children.
Self-knowledge and Self-care are critical to being a Well & Ready parent.
Here are a few ways to learn your needs and care for yourself so you’re available for your family.
- Identify two triggers and weaknesses that have become “your stuff”.
- Answer the following questions in a journal: How do these affect your parenting? Do they cause you to be impatient or over-react? How can you gain control of your reactions and consciously choose a response to your triggers that are healthier for you and for your child?
- Write down the response you’d like to use the next time you find yourself reacting to a trigger. This will help you be more self-aware and keep it in the forefront in your mind when the need arises.
Next time you find yourself feeling tense or stressed, give yourself a time-out. There are many ways to do this. As an example, when you walk, you increase the oxygen flow through your body and brain, which helps to clear your head and regain focus for the next event in your day. Just the quick change of scenery can boost anyone’s energy and morale.
- take 5 and take a walk outside, at your office, at home, or at the airport – walk down the hall and back or up and down the stairs for 5 minutes.
- If you don’t have time to go anywhere, sit in a chair, close your eyes, and take 3 slow, deep breaths in and out. Focus only on your breathing and try to keep your mind from wandering.