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Being A Parent The Good And Bad

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By Tracy Laverick
Enriching Parenting


Being a parent. It can bring out the best and the worst in you

Being a parent is an amazing life changing event. Sometimes it changes our lives in ways that we hadn’t anticipated or that anyone had mentioned before.

I think that being a parent is a wonderful gift and there may be many reasons that we don’t talk about its realities. We can feel guilty, that we must be grateful for all we have and not complain. However, having children is hard work and the more we support each other the better it is for everyone. 

Even before we have children, we set out our expectations. What sort of parent we are going to be and what fun we are going to have. We can be less prepared for how their emotions can trigger emotions in us. Being a parent can bring out our impatience, lack of control and anxiety; or bring up feelings from our own childhood. If we don’t acknowledge these they can impact upon how we relate to our children. We can find ourselves in perpetual arguments with a 4-year-old wondering why they won’t just do as we say. Or resorting to shouting because we just don’t know what else to do and then feeling guilty about it afterwards.

Being a parent is hard emotional work.

Children are emotional rollercoasters who take us with them on constant ups and downs. They have a great ability to live in the moment, the broken biscuit being long forgotten, but it can affect our whole day.  How the children went into school can impact upon our concentration and focus at work.

Take time to review what your children do that trigger these emotions in you. Rather than expect that it will be different the next time, try doing something different. If getting children out of the house is an issue try playing a game of catch on the way out. Look for win win situations. If you know that something they do will trigger you try to be aware of this and do something about it. This could be talking to a friend or just leaving the room for a bit. Children can’t read emotions accurately in adults but emotions are infectious so if you are feeling wound up and angry your child will too.

Be kind to yourself. Make time for activities that help you to relax and bring this relaxed state to your relationship with your child. Whether it is sport or meeting friends it works best when you can use the energy to give you patience to get on the floor and play. Rather than shout, as its the fifth time you have asked them to turn the TV off, you can take a deep breath, smile and make them laugh. Use the power of laughter to get children moving and you may find that your self-image of being a parent can happen. But it takes you to bring the laughter to them.

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