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Parenting Rants — 12 January 2012

Last week I posted about how I was going to make 2012 the year I won an Olympic Gold in calm parenting. After hitting the roof about my son not sleeping (see the post No More Angry Bird) I asked parents and parenting experts for some much-needed advice. I hope this article is of as much use to you as it will be to me.
KEEP-CALM-POSTER-LOW_medium
Picture: Marrz13 @Flickr.com

Take a step back
I’m sure we are all guilty of having overreacted to situations involving our kids, which is why Life Coach Naomi Richards’ advice is particularly helpful: ‘I think the main thing to do is take a step back and look at the situation as it really is without saying or doing anything reactively,’ says Naomi of thekidscoach.org.uk ‘Then decide how and what you are going to say.’

Naomi’s words certainly hit home with me. Taking that all-important step back would allow me time to cool down and assess the situation rather than exploding on the spot and making a bad situation even worse.

To battle or not to battle

After you’ve learnt the art of taking that step back perhaps you’ll be able to take things to an even calmer place by defining what is and what isn’t worth getting in a sweat about.
Expat Mum clearly has her head screwed on when it comes to heated moments: ‘My mantra is definitely “Pick your battles“. From early childhood – (Who cares if they want to go to school in a tutu. As long as it’s OK with the teacher, it’s fine by me) – to the teen years (“Yes darling, I know he’s wearing black eyeliner to school but he’s a nice kid and the teachers love him”.) You have to know when to go with the flow and when to stand firm’.

After reading Expat Mum’s comments I was thinking that I need to look back on all those shouty/shirty times and evaluate just whether all the emotional intensity was worth it. By defining the boundaries I am sure I will benefit from a far calmer existence and less frown lines!

As a side note, I did appreciate the fact that even Expat Mum’s limits are put to the test at bedtime: ‘bedtimes have always been something on which I stand very firm, so I’d have blown a gasket too!’ Thanks for that.

Azzi Gold Medal
Picture: shawncalhoun @Flickr.com
Elaine of Littlesheep Learning keeps calm by being realistic: “It’s just a phase” works well for me… of course some are longer phases than others but they’ll grow out of it eventually!’ Yes Elaine, you’re right and your sentiments were echoed by
Nickie at iamtypecast whose mantra has always been: “it’ll be ok in the end.” Wise words, ladies.

So, I’ve stood back, I have assessed and I have reacted appropriately (I can almost see the rostrum). But what other things cool down a hot-headed Mum?

Ways to keep your cool

Giving yourself some time out is top of Mamacook’s list: ‘Not so much keeping calm and carrying on, just finding those snippets of time in the day to get all the rubbish stuff done to free up a nice hour of ‘me time’. Keeps me sane.’

If I find the time I’m going to try to incorporate some meditation in my life. Check out this
meditation guide.

And last but not least, if all else fails, try as Mary has, to reflect on the pearls of wisdom given to you by your own mum: ‘I make no claim to be much good at this whole parenting thing (still learning to be honest and mine are 20 and 15) but advice given to me by my darling mum was to remember that despite everything you are still an animal at heart and as such have instincts. Trust your instincts when it comes to your baby, what your heart tells you is right – probably is. No-one knows your baby better than you do – grow together – learn together – love together,’ says Mary of keynko.

Has this article helped you? Do you have any comments or tips you’d like to share. Please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Special thanks to all those who contributed.

Michelle
x

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(4) Readers Comments

  1. Thanks for featuring my comment.

  2. I’m not really that old! I had my babies very young! Lovely post and fab advice!

  3. Mary – sorry I hadn’t meant to make you sound old! I’ve re-worded. I don’t want to appear age-ist!! Thanks again, Michelle x

  4. Thanks for featuring my comment. I can’t urge mothers enough to make ‘me time’. I have more time to myself now than I ever took even before having a child because I make it happen. I’m even doing the couch to 5k training three times a week. You can make it work, ask for support from people around you and most importantly, accept it! It takes a village to raise a child but in recent years we’ve turned into hamlets lol!

    Lovely post, hope the meditation goes well. After being a bit of a skeptic, I’ve come round to chamomile tea as well. Tasty and calming.

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