You’ve just read a really great blog post or you attended a stellar parenting workshop, maybe you’ve gone all out in the effort department and you read a whole parenting book. You are pumped about all of the new tools you’ve learned and you can’t wait to change how your family functions.
I think a red cape and a tiara should be placed in your Amazon cart, because you are one bad-ass super mom!
Your mom tool box (which is super shiny and maybe even glittery) is overflowing with exciting new solutions for all of your kid/parent issues!
You reach for a tool to fix your child, and then another and another and somehow you are left in the middle of the floor with a crooked tiara and a mess of tools scattered all around you. None of the tools seem to be the right one for the job.
I can help you figure out how to use your tools.
Here’s what I want you to know.
First you are not alone and second you can recover from this.
Here are the 3 most common pitfalls of changing how you parent and how to avoid them:
- Being sneaky about your parenting changes. Don’t keep your new tools a secret. If you blindside your kids with sparkly new mommy they will become suspicious (and rightfully so since crazy mommy was maybe living in your house in the not so distant past).
Our brains are trained to rebel against unfamiliar things. It’s an essential function that (hopefully) keeps us from drinking latex paint or wearing underwear as a hat. Helping us to be socially acceptable and stay alive.
Instead of implementing your changes in stealth mode, fill your kids in on what you’ve learned and how you want to try it out in your family. Listen to their worries and ideas.
Help them be part of the plan.
- Quitting too soon. Consistency is the key here mama. I know you want to believe your children are kind generous human beings. And I’m sure lots of the time they are. But just like you and I they are also looking out for number one.
So if you make an agreement with your child that they can clean up their toys or you can clean up their toys (which comes with a cost… say a quarter a toy) and they don’t clean up their toys, be prepared to set up shop and sell your little angels back their toys.
No matter how much wailing and gnashing of teeth happen, let them know you mean what you say.
- Losing your cool and giving in to shame. I have to admit, this is where I get stuck at times. Changing your parenting means changing yourself. It means dealing with all of your triggers and wounds. Falling in to pits and clawing your way out again.
This is brave, hard, grueling work. Sometimes it feels like you will never be the mom you want to be. If feels like you will never stop messing up.
Guess what, you will never be done making mistakes. That’s OK! Nobody wants to be friends with a perfect person.
I have a tool for you to add to your glittery collection. Bonus it’s easy to remember because all of the steps start with R!
The 4 R's of Recovery
Note: Use these steps when you have taken the time to cool off.
- Recognize that you made a mistake. Feel the feelings that go along with that and then forgive yourself.
- Take responsibility for your mistake. Remember you did a bad thing, you are NOT a bad person. No shame allowed here.
- Reconcile by apologizing to your child (or anyone else involved).
- Resolve it. If there is still a problem, ask your child to help you figure it out. Focus on solutions, not on blame.
Parenting tools (unfortunately) aren’t magic wands. They require practice. Consistent repetition is how we train our brains to make the changes we desire.
Stick with it. You’ve got this. Straighten your tiara, swish your cape, and carry on.
I’m cheering for you!