How To Be A Positive Parent When You Feel Negative and Frustrated
Do you want to be a positive parent? Are you feeling frustrated with parenthood? Are you getting negative feelings about parenting? Well, most parents feel this at some point in their parenting journey. I have felt it too but it is hard to stay positive when one is angry or frustrated with their child. One can’t be bothered to remain positive when children are fighting or bringing the house down. So what do you do? How do you continue being a positive parent when you feel negative and frustrated?
There are 5 tips that I would like to share with you that I try to remember (as much as is humanly possible) when I am angry and frustrated with my children:
1.) Calming Down
If a parent is angry and frustrated with their kids, they might take a wrong step or react excessively. Kids generally bother their mothers more than their fathers so a mother is more likely to feel frustrated and annoyed with the kids. Especially, if the mother is the main carer of the kids. Think of something, in advance, in a calm moment what you can do to keep yourself calm and not react when the kids are hassling you.
For me, meditation calms me down. Another thing that helps me is that when I get angry is I take a deep breath to help me calm down. If neither helps you, then try counting till 10 (yes, all the way to 10) before reacting. By the time you reach 10, you would have calmed down. When I am calmer, my mind is positive and so are my thoughts. Therefore my reaction is likely to be positive.
I have noticed that when I am upset or angry, my reaction is also negative (more shouting, more frustration and no solution).
2.) Don’t Panic
Years ago when my son was in pre – k came home with a hole in his shoe. It was a big hole and was not possible to wear that shoe again. No idea how this could have possibly happened. It was a weekday. Just like other parents, I don’t have much time on a weekday to rush to the shops. I panicked a bit thinking that I will somehow have to go to shops without upsetting other things in my tight schedule. Then I remembered to calm down. I took deep breaths and thought for a minute. Suddenly, the solution popped into my head. My son would wear his normal trainers to school and I would send a note to his teacher explaining our predicament. Luckily, this happened on a Thursday so he would have to wear his trainers only for a day. Panic is a negative reaction. Take a step back and think is the problem that big?
3.) Focus on the Solution
A famous quote by Jim Rohn, “Focus on the solution and not on the problem” is very much applicable to parenting. Problems cannot be undone so it is better to find a solution. Just like my story about my son’s shoe, once I was calm and focused on finding the solution, the problem didn’t seem big enough. Therefore, parents should try to focus on the solution, not the problem.
4.) Self – Esteem
I believe that it is very important for parents to think a little bit about themselves. Parents tend to go overboard with thinking about their children. I have been guilty of it as well. If parents do this, their self-esteem lowers as they are not thinking of themselves at all and if your self-esteem is low, you are more likely to feel frustrated and upset as you are not able to keep yourself happy. You never prioritize yourself. You come last in your list of priorities. Make some time for yourself. Fulfill at least 2 or 3 of your wishes out of 10.
If a parent feels happy and content with their life, they will feel more positive and fulfilled.
If a parent is positive, they will react positively to a child’s misbehaviour. As you can see, this is a domino effect. To become a positive parent, one needs to become a positive person first and if our self-esteem is high, then your kids will also have high self – esteem as parents are powerful role models.
5.) Time Out
This is a new technique I have tried. Whenever you are frustrated with the kids, I take time out. If the kids misbehaved and you told them of the consequence or dealt with the matter temporarily, leave the room. I step to another room to read my book .. OR BLOGGING lol These two things help me calm down as well as reconnect and re-align with myself. Maybe you can do something you love? Doing something you enjoy can take the focus away from the situation. It can also help with getting overwhelmed.
Instead of giving your kids time out, parents should take time out to calm themselves.
If your kids are very young, ask your spouse to look after them while you take sometime out for yourself. Even 15 minutes of ‘time out’ will work wonders. You don’t even need to leave the house. Removing yourself out of the situation is good enough.
6.) Be a Good Listener
Most of the time, kids just want their parents to listen to them. You would have filled their ‘attention bucket’ by listening which will reduce their chances of misbehaving.
This is one of the tools that I have learnt from Amy McCready, a parenting expert. By listening to them, you are giving them positive attention.
7.) Use of Positive Words
Words have a lot of power. Weigh your words when you speak to your child. Using positive words will lead to a positive reaction from them and if possible, Avoid Criticism. In the heat of the moment, if it can’t be helped then later we can explain to the child ‘what I meant earlier is this’. Give a positive spin to it. Use of positive words is one of the topics I have explained in detail. Parents, I know it is hard at times to do this but practice makes it easier. As I said earlier, parents who have a positive mindset will automatically become a positive parent. This is what I believe.
8.) Positive Discipline
Using positive methods of disciplining a child has a better effect. Remember, you are trying to correct or improve the child’s behavior. Spanking or time outs will only harm the child’s mind.
One thing which has helped me a lot is setting Family Rules. If you tell your kids in advance what is expected of them, they are more likely to follow it.
9.) Giving Choices
Instead of laying the law, give choices to your child if possible. If they feel that they have been able to decide for themselves, it will fulfill their ‘power bucket’ Children need to fill their power and attention bucket daily. This will reduce the chances of misbehavior in children and helps you further in becoming a positive parent.