Protecting your child from yourself

parents-childNobody’s perfect. Moms aren’t, as well. That, somehow, seems to be a mothers’ deepest fear. What if I am not doing this right..? What if what this other mom does, is indeed right about how I should handle this? We only have our gut to rely on. Something that tells us that this is the right way to deal with this situation for our children.

The thing is, that each of us are evolving every moment. Motherhood, really, is a process..which starts when a child is born and does not end unless we choose to end it.

Every moment, as moms, we are discovering ourselves more, finding new ways of dealing with the challenges that raising children presents us with. Every moment, we try and push ourselves to do the best, limited only by our own limitations as human beings.

It is hence, tough for a mother to know her own shortcomings and to learn to address them so as to not impact her child. Losing one’s temper is perhaps one such thing that many mothers would be able to relate to.

Dealing with household responsibilities, the relationship with the husband, the extended family, a high pressure work environment, it can all really get to you.

In the midst of all this, it is tough to take a deep breath and to listen to what your child might be trying to communicate.

It is easy to get caught into this trap of ‘I can’t do this anymore’. Almost all mothers would be able to relate to this…even supermoms 🙂

So how does one deal with one’s own shortcomings as to not impact the child? The last thing you want is to shut down the communication channels with your child and for that to start impacting your child’s development.

The first step, is to acknowledge, that there is, indeed, a problem and it would need to be addressed. That itself requires a great deal of effort. It is important to then be able to isolate the factors that are causing you to lose your temper leading to venting in front of the child.

Seeking help from a life coach might help. In cases where issues are more compounded, as financial pressures or relationship issues or a highly volatile work environment, seeking help from a psychologist might be a good idea.

At the end of the day, if there is an issue, it needs to be resolved. The point is, is the issue that you need to address, you yourself? If yes, own up and take action. If not for yourself, then do it for your child and for your family. As a mom, you need to be able to protect a child. Even if it is from yourself.

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Get a life, parents!

 

b22f9bd6899daf47eac5fef391ecef7cAs parents we are always scrambling to find ways to keep our children occupied- are there week-end classes, what are the latest books for my kids to read and, if you are a teen’s parent,  is there any quick project that my daughter can work on? Sounds familiar? Parents, especially the involved ones, are so busy trying to optimize their children’s lives that they often miss out on doing the same with their own.

In my case, between managing a full time job and raising two kids, I believed that I had no time to pursue my own interests or to do fun things. In the last couple of years however, I have done some introspection: how easily I give my children fundas on time management?  And how often have I spoken to them on exhibiting a lifelong learning attitude?  How about applying these ideas to myself, I thought? And so I revived my interest in cooking and baking, began reading a lot more widely and regularly and, more recently, started to do a bit of gardening.

Now, when I look around me, I find many others I know being much more than “parents”. My husband, for example, has always found the time to do what interests him; other friends are passionately pursing everything from photography and writing to cycling and music.

As parents, by continuing to develop our own interests, we demonstrate to our children that learning need not stop at any point in time. It can continue forever. More importantly, it helps us develop a sense of balance. Rather than make our children’s lives and hence their achievements our top and most often only priority, if we set aside some time for our own interests, it helps children also get the much needed breathing space. Doing your own thing is obviously a lot of fun too. Last, when it is time for children to set out to chase their own dreams, we have something to fall back on.

So, time to get a life?

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge (www.parentedge.in), a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.