Your Child is like a thermometer

By Karen DeBolt | 6th Oct 2010 | Filed under Parenting, Reflections, Relationships, Self Care

Have you ever noticed that on days that you are the most stressed out that is usually the day that your child is driving you the most crazy? She may be in slow motion getting ready for school, or he might be more defiant than usual. Just when you really need a little peace that is when you are often the least likely to get it.

What the heck?!

While it may seem like the world is conspiring to drive you nuts and sometimes it really does feel like that. In truth, we as parents sometimes allow ourselves to get depleted on our energy reserves. I am as guilty of this as anyone, and I see it all the time in the parents that I work with. Whenever you get depleted, your child will also get depleted because you are not able to give as much as you normally do when you have more energy in reserve.

In other words, your child can be like a thermometer for how you feel. So if you start noticing that your child is more needy than usual, you might want to take a look in a mirror and see how needy you are.

What me needy?

You may have life stressors involving grown up problems like finances, job stress, relationship problems. Not only that, but you don’t give yourself the time for self care so you end up running on empty. That good old puritan ethic that we were all taught as children that work must be done before we can play had a place, but in the end sometimes that advice actually makes things worse for us.

If we are depleted, then we go and do more depleting activities (cleaning the house, paying bills) then we will continue to go down into negativity. What would happen if instead you did something that would bring you up and make you feel nourished and energized? Then when you do the depleting activities it doesn’t feel so bad because you were in a higher spot to begin with.

But if I play first, then I’ll feel guilty

You might at first because all those years of programming are not going to just suddenly disappear. You will still hear those voices saying things like: “You are being so irresponsible right now!” “I can’t believe you did do XXX before going to have fun!” “Who do you think you are?”

I encouraged you to remember that when you do choose to do those things that nurture you that you will:

• Have more patience
• Yell less
• Be better able to problem solve
• Enjoy your child more

That ought to quiet those voices down quite a bit!

Now if you are not sure what you should do, I would recommend sitting down writing a list of all the activities that nourish and energize you. What helps you to feel good–body, mind, and soul? When you have even 15 minutes to spare, you can pull out your list and do something on it or at least plan something on it. Sometimes it helps to just know that something is planned.

I KNOW this is hard for a lot of you as it is hard for me, but it is SO important for your health, your child’s health, and the health of your relationship.

If you need ideas, email me!

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