The infant is crying. He needs to nurse.
The one year old is screaming. He is dealing with separation anxiety and desperately needs my love.
The two and four year olds are hungry for lunch and are responding to the chaos by adding their chorus of mimicking cries, right in the ear of the baby, then hysterically laughing.
~ ~ ~
Unless I yell, my voice won't be heard. I'm putting lunch together, hurriedly trying to get the older ones fed in order to help the younger two. Trying to avoid the anger reflex.
My heart feels tight, suffocating me. My anxiety levels are creeping ever higher. Someone told me once that the body's response to a baby's cry is the same hormone that pumps through you when having a heart attack. I feel like that's about right.
Thinking is fuzzy. I know there is a better way, but it is too fuzzy...
Where are the principles I've learned to POSITIVELY deal with this situation?
Every time I search through that cobweby room, there are less cobwebs. As long as I don't give in to the anger reflex, it keeps getting easier to find:
- Ask good quality questions (especially in my head!)
- Validate Feelings
- Helpful or Hurtful?
- SMILE instead of mad-face. Oh yeah, smile. Smile? Yeah, SMILE!
- Listen for meaning, not words. "The details don't matter compared to the heart."-- Brandon Broadwater
- Yes, when... (Instead of no, no, no)
- Get on their eye-level
- Focus on Solutions
- Teach/Educate instead of blame/punish
It is SO hard to stop treading in the turbulent river of emotions, and instead swim to the shore, climb out, and fix the source of the emotion. But if I KEEP treading in that poisonous water, I WILL drown. Negativity will win. My brain shuts off when the anxiety flares. I know if I can just remember to pause and find a Positive Principle, a higher law, I`ll weather the storm sucessfully instead of drowning myself and hurting the people I love.
So I`m doing everything I can think of to REMEMBER in the heat of the moment.
What have I done? What can I do?
- I put a canvas on my wall of all the good and beautiful emotions that I want in my home.
- I have flashcards of Positive Discipline tools that I review.
- I print off parenting articles that I re-read one of each morning. One of my favorites is 10 Amazingly Enjoyable Things About Having Kids.
- I put a paper up by my front door of 64 Positive Things To Say To a Child.
- Put the phone down.
- Be present.
- Wake up early and have a daily devotional where I can be grateful, and fill up my tank.
- Go to courses that teach parenting and positive communication skills
I'm passionate about
learning to parent
One part of this journey that has helped me immensely is Brandon Broadwater's 3-day courses. There is a power for good within each of us, and Brandon's first course is all about Mastering Your Power Within.
I believe my relationships can prosper. When I was 17 I had an incredible mentor who always left me feeling amazing. I eventually realized this pattern, and marveled at his power. I wondered how he did it, and at the same time set a goal for myself to be that person one day.
Every person has a perfect soul, has worth, and goodness in them. I want them to feel that, and I think I'm on the path to mastering how to be that person who spreads the feel-goods. Who keeps a child's heart, instead of breaking it. Who responds calmly, on a level that the tantrumee can understand.
That excites me.
"Growth is how you show love to your future." -Brandon Broadwater