Some days being a parent is harder than on other days. Some days being a kid is harder than other days too. This is when it is essential to have tools. Our family survives and thrives on the tools we have to deal with stress. We will soon be getting and leaning more, both Michael and my husband and I to deal with stress and anxiety and anger in a calm and collected way. The tools I and my husband use are the same ones we teach Michael to use:
- Self-Care: That is, having time away from each other and from being parents, even if just for an hour to do a workout or yoga.
- Visualization: Visiuazlizing a calm or “happy place” (in the words of Frasier Krane, Kelsey Grammar’s character in Cheers) :). For me, it is beach, a setting in the forest, or sometimes picturing myself sitting down with a nice glass of wine and a good book.
- Talking about our feelings: Once we calm down, talking about what we’ve learned and what we could have done better.
- Breathing: This one is harder for Michael, (and sometimes Mom and Dad) but it always helps bring us back to the present.
- Distancing ourselves for a second: This applies to my husband and I. I have recently learned to have this calm distance from friends who apply it, and from a great formula for anger I recently found online called SODA it
I didn’t use these tools last weekend when I needed them, but now am keeping them close by like my tool kit bible you could say.
Michael has taught me many things, one of them being that by reacting, I am making the situation worse. I am provoking him more as he provokes me. But by remaining calm, I help him learn to be calm and ground himself. Sure we have moments that are less than favorable, but through each one, I am learning how to be better in control of myself, of the unpredictable and learning how to live in the moment while handling my emotions. This was not something easy for me to do before.
Exceptional Moms, what unfavorable and favorable tools have you used to help extinguish anger, your child’s and your own? What has worked, what hasn’t? I think if you keep an open mind, anything is possible, and when others see you learning form your mistakes, they are a lot more tolerant of their own shortcomings in growing and becoming a more tolerant human being of their own and others’ shortcomings. Until next time.