Feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day stress of being a parent? Believe us–you are not alone. You love your little one(s), but no matter how hard you work to stay calm, cool, and collected, we all need a little help when we’re on the 4th tantrum of the day. Sound familiar? Here, we’ll take a look at some parenting mantras you can think, whisper, or say out loud in the bathroom while you’re eating peanut butter cups (don’t judge me).
Mantra #1: These feelings are present, and they will pass just like a storm coming through.
Difficult feelings seem like they’re going to hang around forever, but nothing could be further from the truth. Reminding yourself that feelings are temporary can be key to making it through a tough moment with your child. If you can, think of something you have to look forward to later in the day. This can help shift your mindset from the difficult, present moment to something more calming that’s just over the horizon.
Mantra #2: My calmness is contagious. Breathe.
Your child looks to you for guidance in tough situations. When you take a moment to take a deep breath and stay focused, your child will follow suit. Talking to your child openly about how you’re feeling in these times is not only helpful, but can be a great teaching moment. Saying something like, “I’m feeling angry right now, so I’m going to take a deep breath to calm my mind and body,” can give your little one concrete guidelines to follow and use when they are struggling.
Mantra #3: My child loves me, and this is not personal.
Try not to take it personally if your child is hitting, kicking, or saying hurtful things. It’s important to remember that they’re doing the best they can to express themselves, and their outburst is not a reflection of how much they love you. When your child acts out in front of you, it’s not because they dislike you. It’s because they know you’re someone who loves them no matter what, and they feel safe to be their true self.
Mantra #4: I do not need to be perfect.
There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and the best that you can be is yourself–because you’re exactly who your child needs to thrive. When you make a mistake or overreact to a tough situation, you have the opportunity to make things right with your child, and it can help them see that it’s ok to make mistakes. Teaching your child that mistakes are a part of life will help them honestly and lovingly examine their own behaviors as they get older.
Mantra #5: I am safe. My child is safe.
We’ve all been there–the dizzy feeling, the perspiration, and your heart rate increasing as your child screams, each one getting what seems progressively louder. Reminding yourself that you and your little one are safe, no matter how difficult a situation, can work wonders when it comes to calming your mind and helping calm your child.
Mantra #6: I will respond with compassion and have compassion for myself.
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves when we overreact to our child’s tough emotions. Just as you exercise compassion for your child, it’s important to have compassion for yourself. Taking a moment to remind yourself that you’re human, you are doing the best you can, and that you have feelings too, will go a long way in helping you stay calm and solution-focused.
Mantra #7: I am exactly who my child needs me to be.
No matter how hard it can feel at times, you are EXACTLY who your child needs. Reminding yourself that you–exactly as you are right now–are fully capable and more than good enough for your child, will help tremendously as you navigate those difficult parent moments.
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