Parents Corner

Flashback to 2020

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Parenting is the longest shortest time isn’t it? While you are
in it, it feels unrelenting. When you look on the past year, you
think ‘where did that time go?’.
How can we make the best of our parenting days?
I think Sarah Bessey has something there – hope trumps fear.
Focusing on the positives and hopes has a different energy to
focusing on the negatives and everything that is going wrong.
It can also be hard to do, because as humans our brains have a
negative bias.
As Dr Rick Hanson says (https://youtu.be/jpuDyGgIeh0) …
If your child did 5 great things today, 4 neutral things, and 1
not-so-great thing, what would keep you awake at night?
Now, parents who have been doing the job for quite a
while frequently know the benefits of the ‘long game’. Being
consistent and persistent. Your kids are not going to learn their
manners, to pick up their socks, to speak kindly, to manage
their emotions, and to share, any time soon, no matter how
quickly you insist they do. Getting frustrated with them just
leads to a cycle of frustration – parent gets frustrated, child
returns frustration, parent gets more frustrated, and so it goes.
This is what I have noticed about parents (and humans in
general) – when they focus on the positives, if they try it once,
and the child does not respond, they say ‘it didn’t work’. But
when they focus on the negatives, and the child does not
respond in the desired way, they keep using it.
Parenting is like a dripping tap. Saying the same thing over
and over again with very little emotion. Dr Becky Bailey in the
USA says that you generally need to say something 2000 times
before the kids will get it.
What is less stressful? Parenting with hope in our hearts and
a generous amount of humour? Or parenting out of fear, worry,
anxiety, anger, and frustration? How do you want to look back
on your parenting days when your eldest is 18 years of age
and heading out into the world? (By the way, they don’t have
to be complete humans at the age of 18, their brains are still
developing into their mid-twenties).

 

Article Written + Submitted by

Narelle Smith | Parenting Facilitator

Nepean Community & Neighbourhood Services
W: www.nepeancommunity.org.au
E: info@nepeancommunity.org.au

 

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