I’ve been on a Positive Parenting journey for quite some time now, and I have found that with each season in parenting, another revelation unfolds. We will never be perfect parents, but if we commit to doing our best and learning all we can, we will be wonderful parents. And our children will have the skills and confidence to continue growing on their own journeys in life.
I’m in the process of exploring and learning to use some of the many Positive Discipline Tools available. I am diving into the concepts and I am reflecting on and seeking to improve my own parenting journey, as well as develop training curriculums that will benefit other parents. Parenting is never easy, and as soon as you master one issue, another new issue pops up in its place. It is the never ending learning curve.
Recently, I had a revelation about the concept “Flipping Your Lid” (created by Daniel Siegal, M.D.) . Basically, when we get frustrated or angry, our reptilian part of our brain takes over, eliciting a fight or flight response, and we blow up!!
It is a simple concept to understand, but to act and prevent that response from occurring often seems impossible. I have learned to apologize to my children when I flip my lid, which is a big step because sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will have those blow up moments.
So, how do we prevent the blow up? I recently participated in a holiday challenge where we were deciding what kind of intention we want to set as parents for the holidays and beyond. Mine is to be calm and present. Casey O’Rourty with joyfulcourage.com, led us through a journey of learning to Pause, to Breathe, and Notice what is going on both internally and externally, through meditation and setting alarms on our phones throughout the day. Through practicing pausing, and breathing throughout the day, you begin to check in with yourself and notice how you are feeling, as well as recognizing how others in your family are feeling too.
Then, once you start to feel the frustration or anger, you will immediately pause, start focusing on your breath, and if you are really upset, you can excuse yourself to another room for a personal time out. Once you calm down, you will be able to more clearly recognize whether you were simply reacting to a situation, or if you need to address a behavior with your child.
We all have those blow up moments, but taking the time to pause, breathe, notice, and reflect throughout our parenting journey, will help us to get in touch with our feelings and to better recognize when we are getting upset. This enables us to model for our own children how to recognize and respond when they are about to flip their own lid.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that this is a process, and not a quick fix. I haven’t mastered this myself. But I am seeing a great improvement in being more calm and present with my children.
Hope this helps you in your own parenting journey,