Perhaps one of the most incredible lessons we come up against as parents are the emotions that parenting withdraws from US. Fear, anger, worry, jealousy – all of these emotions are real and we must deal with them in order to be the best parent we can. Different stages of child development, different stages of adult development, and where we are in this process of dealing with our own internal emotions all mix together, and if we do it right, we become a parent who has a sustainable parenting style.
While I actually don’t consider emotions such as fear or anger negative, the older I become, the more it hits me over and over that having these emotions and attaching to these emotions is just not sustainable in parenting. For me, being able to acknowledge the emotion or feeling and then being able to let it go without feeling the need to act upon it has been freeing. It is okay to feel sad, angry, upset, fearful in parenting. We all go through it. However, instead of falling into these emotions (and falling apart) and burning up our physical and energetic levels, we must instead use clarity of thinking as a great balancer.
Children do things that are annoying. That is just a fact. Children do things, that through no fault of their own, trigger our own emotional baggage. Thinking things through instead of just reacting become a lifeline that we can hang on to! Some of my favorite ways to combat my own emotions and calm down include taking everyone outside; going for a walk myself; making sure I have eaten something and have been sleeping (and getting help if I have not); breathing in the moment and knowing I can come back to something that is not a life or death situation; letting go of my emotions and try to remember what developmental level my child is in and where I am.
What things help you be a sustainable parent?
Blessings and love,
it isn’t even sustainable for an evening. I don’t like conflict; I get a stomachache and I don’t feel well. The whole house is unhappy. What works better for me is to figure out long-term boundaries; to be able to think in the moment the best way to handle a tired and screaming child or a snarky teenager that doesn’t involve anger. Because the minute I allow anger into that scenario, nothing goes well. Anger, if we let it, can