Trusting Your Parenting InstinctsMay 19, 2022
Do you have questions about how to best support your child — About challenges they are experiencing, behavior issues, a decision or situation concerning school or other activities, or through these challenging times in general?
This past week I ran an Anxiety Workshop that was sponsored by the Parent Teacher’s Association in Georgetown, and there were a lot of questions from the parents. With mental health issues and anxiety levels rising at alarming rates for kids, parents are anxious, desperately searching for answers to help their kids and looking to outside experts for help.
One thing that I kept coming back to: As a parent, it’s important to tap into and trust your own parenting instincts. You know your child better than anyone else, you spend more time with them than anyone else, and you likely still have more influence on them than anyone else.
The problem that I kept addressing was that to be able to tap into your own parenting instincts, you have to consciously get yourself out of anxiety first — It’s difficult to tap into your parenting instincts when you’re stuck in anxiety, and anxiety shuts down your connection to your own internal guidance system.
When parents are anxious, they typically either become frantic and act from a reactionary place trying to “fix” the situation, or they just shut down. Either way, they’re not parenting at their best. I have yet to meet a parent who can tap into their best parenting instincts from a place of anxiety. Unfortunately, this is one of the times that our kids need us most.
But when your kids are struggling it’s next to impossible to calm down and get your parenting zen on so you can parent better. So how do you get yourself out of anxiety in order to connect with your own internal guidance and have confidence in your own parenting instincts?
You just get to neutral, and you do that with the Parenting From Neutral A B C Process.
1 - Between what your child does or is experiencing and your reaction is a space. Pause and ADD a couple of seconds of extra space so you can intentionally respond. (A)
2 - In that space, put your hand on your heart and breathe. (B) Breathing helps you calm down your own nervous system so you can access your internal guidance.
3 - Choose a new thought. (C) I recommend asking yourself: What can I do to best support my child and help them navigate through this? How can I best help my child? Use questions to see what your inner guidance recommends.
I’ve just given you the quick version of the easy ABC process to help you take anxiety out of your parenting process and get to neutral so you can more easily tap into your own internal guidance and parenting instincts.
Tapping into your own parental instincts will help you be more solution oriented, but you have to get out of being stuck in your own anxiety first. If you are struggling and stuck in anxiety, frustration, overwhelm, or any other heightened emotions that are interfering with your ability to parent, please go to melpeirce.com where you can download the full Parent From Neutral ABC process. You can’t miss it, it’s right at the top. Use it to help you get to neutral so you can parent more effectively.
Please note, this does not mean foregoing professional help for your child should they be struggling to simply function in their everyday life and need help. But I also know that sometimes finding the right person — or even just someone with availability right now — can be difficult, so as a parent; know that there are things that you can do too, and it starts by getting to neutral first.
Consider that our lives are on a spectrum. Clear to the left end is where we are sick, we can’t function, and can’t handle the day-to-day responsibilities in our lives. In the middle of the spectrum is health, and we can function in our lives. But there is life beyond just functioning and surviving the day-to-day, and that is to the far right on the spectrum. This is where you learn how to thrive, and you can teach your kids to thrive too.
If you are stuck or want to learn more about how you can help your kids thrive, I can help. As a coach, I help parents gain awareness and learn tools to make parenting and life easier — and I teach parents how to become a Parent Coach, so they can help their kids learn to thrive. Click here to book a call. There is no change and no obligation to work with me. We will discuss your specific challenges and whether you choose to work with me or not, you will definitely leave with more clarity and some ideas to try.
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