Peel parenting is a real world/real life approach to the joys and trials of parenthood.
Life is full of ups and downs, good days and bad days. Peel parenting offers real-life parenting tips to help you navigate the deep, uncharted waters of parenthood.
Let’s face it, being a parent can be a tough gig. Some days it can be a really tough gig! I know! I have two small boys that keep me very busy and often try my patience to the limit and well beyond.
Yet, these little people are also the light and joy of my life. There is nothing more precious than hearing their sweet voices saying, “I love you, Mommy!” and nothing feels more like a little slice of heaven than the feel of their little arms wrapping around my neck to give me a big hug.
So how do you keep your cool on those days when it feels that your temper is RED HOT? You know those days…the days when there is whining, bickering, messes, tantrums, and all you want is five minutes to yourself to regroup and just be you…
Here are 5 easy parenting tips that will help diffuse the building tension and ensuing craziness of parenthood:
Tip #1: Take a DEEP breath!
Practice right now. Breath in and fill your lungs to their fullest. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then blow it all out. Do this a couple of times.
Simply taking a couple of full deep breath breaths will huge effect you physiologically. You will truly enable you to focus yourself to manage the current strain and keep your cool with your children.
Don’t underestimate the power of this exercise! It really helps. Try taking another deep breath right now just to practice. Can you feel the difference?
Tip #2: Take a Perspective Check.
Perspective is our point-of-view or the way we look at the world. Wayne Dyer, an amazing author, and speaker said:
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
This concept is something that has been really helpful to me in my job as a mom. Get out your imagination cap and pretend that you can go up into the air about 20,000 feet.
From this vantage point, look down at your situation (notice how quiet it is here…ahhhh!). From your lofty position, take a really good look at your children.
Just Know that they love you so much and want to have some of your quality time and consideration.T hey are not intentionally trying to drive you crazy (although at times it sure may seem like it) . They just want to be satisfied with your love for them. Try and keep this perspective when you come back down to ground level.
Tip #3: Get Goofy!
Even though this may be the last thing you feel like doing when you are longing and praying for the little men wearing white coats to come and take you away so you can get a moment’s peace, this method really works! It provides a great distraction and soon your kids will forget that they were even being cantankerous!
Start singing a silly song. Turn on your favorite music, something you can dance to and then dance like mad with your child. Do somersaults and cartwheels in the back yard. Make funny faces at your child until a grin can’t help but creep across those little lips.
Chase your child like a ravenous beast in search of its next meal and growl ferociously. Attack with tickles and slobbery belly zerberts when you have captured your prey. Drink in those squeals of terror and absolute delight as though water may never pass your lips again.
These childhood years are so precious and so fleeting! Make happy memories of fun and playing that your child (and you) will look back and remember fondly.
Tip #4: Break out the Photo Albums.
Get out the baby books, the home videos, the photo albums. This is one of my very favorite things to do. Kids love to see pictures and movies of themselves. Look through the albums with your child. Talk to them about each picture.
Tell them about how small and precious they were as babies and assure them that they are just as precious today. Tell them about the funny or cute things they did or said as a baby or little toddler. What were their first words? How old were they when they started to crawl and walk?
Looking at these pictures and talking about your memories is an incredibly powerful exercise that will really change your mood and you will be much more patient with your child with those sweet images fresh in your mind.
Tip #5: Got Gratitude?
This is something that I have been using for the past couple of years, and I am still amazed at how effective it is in helping me to remain calm. Gratitude is one of the most powerful, transformative emotions that we as humans can experience. Get out a pen and paper if you can, or just start saying out-loud things you are grateful for.
My progeny will know my bad days from the good because of the rough days I spend more time writing down the things I am grateful for. On those rough days, I often have to start listing small things I am grateful for before I can move on to bigger things.
For example, on days when it feels like my eardrums are going to burst from all the screeching involved with two small boys.
I begin my gratitude list with, “I am so grateful that my children have healthy and strong vocal cords and lungs and are in perfect health.
I am so grateful that they are trying to develop their ability to express themselves and figure out how they relate to the world.
I am so grateful that we live in a day in age where we can express ourselves, our thoughts, our ideas. I am so grateful for a washer and dryer to wash the mountains of laundry in my house and that I don’t have to take it to the river and beat it over a rock. And on the list goes.
There is always something to be grateful for if you choose to look for it.
Once I take to have this perspective and changed my point-of-view, things suddenly seem a whole lot better. As we are able to really feel gratitude for all the miracles that literally saturate our lives, we are better able to see the beauty in everything around us.
You will begin to see your children as the divine little creatures they are and leave the false images of being whiny and misbehaved to wither into dust.
Why it’s Cool to Keep Your Cool
You’ve heard the phrase, “living up to expectations.” We often relate this phrase to good or positive expectations that a child is excelling or achieving great things. However, this phrase also goes the other way. A child will live up to positive expectations or negative expectations alike.
Your child is living up to your expectations right now. What are you expecting of your child? What are you telling them in those moments when you are frustrated?
In exasperation, do phrases like “you’re so aggravating” or “why are you so difficult?” or “why can’t you ever do anything right?” or “you’re such a trouble-maker,” ever slip from your lips? Those phrases spoken in haste are labels that your child will begin to live up to, literally.
This is why it is so crucial that, as parents, we are able to keep our cool when the situation is tense. Once uttered, those words can never be taken back. A ‘sorry’ does little to neutralize the effects of hurtful words.
So, on those craziest of days when you are at your wit’s end and overwhelmed, exhausted, and frustrated – take a deep breath, check your perspective, get a little goofy, look at those adorable baby pictures, and count your blessings. You are raising the future of the world within those four walls of your home.
The awesome part about this is that it can be fun! And it should be fun! There is a reason they refer to the childhood years as magical. Seize those fleeting moments and enjoy that magic with your child.
Parenting can be one wild, exhilarating ride. So please take your seat, make sure your safety belt is securely fastened, keep all arms and legs inside the vehicle, and have a blast!