Controlling your child’s behaviour seems to be a common approach to prevent parental stress – How to get your child to sleep, how to avoid tantrums, handling attitude, getting your child to co-operate and do as you say.
While advice such as this is no doubt, very helpful in handling the challenges of positive parenting, how helpful is it for handling your personal stress? It probably works really well while your child is complying with what you want, but what about when you hit the next developmental stage, doesn’t your stress often return again?
This is because we believe that our child’s behaviour is the cause of our stress – that is the event (eg my child having a tantrum or not sleeping). But if this were the case, then wouldn’t all parents feel stressed every time they experienced these behavioural challenges?
However, we know this isn’t the case. We all know of a parent who seems to cruise through parenthood, rarely getting stressed and who seems born to do this role with ease. If it is the event that causes stress, then why does it not seem to effect this parent like it does you? Is it because that person is a better parent than you?
The answer is – No! It’s because of how they think about parenthood.
Our thinking comes from the beliefs we have about life, about parenthood and about ourselves. As we go through our day to day lives our beliefs get activated by what we are viewing and experiencing. So when your child is not behaving in alignment with how you believe they should be, there is a whole story playing out in your mind about what you think about their behaviour.
This thinking is what causes you to feel stressed and it plays out whenever you experience life not going the way you would like it to.
So how can you be happy?
By changing the way you think about parenthood and life events in general. The reality is that we will always experiences challenges throughout our lives. This is the reality of parenting and is the reality of life in general. There will often be times in our lives where life does not go to plan but there are things that you can do to help maintain a positive parenting attitude.
By changing the way we think about this reality, you will begin to feel more accepting of these challenging times and they won’t become stressful anymore, hence making you happier. Positive parenting comes by understanding yourself as well as understanding your kids.
We will always have goals and we’ll always want to experience things that make us feel the emotion of happiness, but we must also understand the feeling of happiness won’t always be present in our lives. The reality is that life doesn’t always go to plan and when that happens you’re not likely to feel happy about it. However you can certainly reduce your stress about unwanted or unexpected events by learning to look at our challenges from a different perspective.
And that’s what we teach here at The Parental Stress Centre. We use The Mind TRACK to Happiness Process to teach you how to re-train your mind to look at the challenges of parenting differently, release the stress you may feel about parenthood and form a healthy attitude towards the parenting ups and downs you encounter.
Changing the way you think about your life (and parenthood) will make you feel happier and more relaxed about all of your experiences, without needing life to go to plan.