A week ago I wrote this entry in my blog. I was down and really feeling low about my parenting. So I was very excited yesterday because I received my first email from Jackie Hall via the Essential Baby 28 Day Scream-free parenting challenge. It was like somebody switched on a light for me. Sometimes you think you know what to do, and when somebody actually gives you advice, you think “well now THAT makes perfect sense!”
Yesterday’s email discussed how stress is a conflict between belief and reality. Stress occurs when what you believe should be happening, isn’t. And for me that happens on a regular basis. I tend to create unrealistic goals. Someone in my past once called me a high achiever. And I guess that could be true. I certainly have high expectations. Very high. And when you’re a five year old or a two year old – well, you just aren’t going to cut the mustard.
The email went on to discuss how we could eliminate the stress by changing how we view challenging situations. By doing this we would remove the gaping hole between belief and reality.
An example was:
Parent A may perceive a tantrum from their toddler as learning behaviour and their child is simply learning how to behave in the world and realise that they can't get what they want.
Parent B may be perceiving how embarrassing it is, that they shouldn't be behaving that way, how much they've had enough of this behaviour, how much this behaviour is effecting their life and their bond and on and on in that direction.
Which parent do you think is feeling more stress?
I may as well be walking around with a t-shirt emblazoned with PARENT B on it. That is me. To a T. Sorry, the pun was intended. So I read my email yesterday – took it on board, ruminated on it and then put it into practise.
Little Warrior was in daycare yesterday but that didn’t stop him from throwing two gargantuan tantrums in the space of two hours once he got home (seriously – he nearly ripped the handle off our fridge). I did what the email suggested. I looked at his tantrum as a learning behaviour and thought ‘he’s simply learning that he can’t get what he wants.’ And do you know what? I didn’t get cranky! I didn’t get annoyed! I wasn’t thinking “F*ck my life”, I wasn’t desperately wondering what to do next, nothing! Something as simple as merely changing the way I look at the situation was miraculous. I couldn’t believe it. And I have to say, I was a little proud of myself.
So big ups to me. Big ups to Jackie Hall and big ups to Essential Baby.