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Your Child’s Hidden Gift to You

 Is it just me or are a lot of parents cranky, rushed, frustrated and resentful these days?

 Has this ever happened to you?

The alarm goes off and instead of slowly waking up your mind snaps into action and begins to race as you review the day’s to do list. Your heart pounds as you wonder how you’re going to get it all done! You find yourself consumed with frustration and you’ve only been up for 3 minutes! You think: today is going to suck!

A lot of moms feel like they just can’t get it all done and that stress makes them feel resentful.

The pace of life has changed for everyone. We all feel rushed, frustrated and exhausted from meeting our daily commitments and living in what feels like a pressure cooker 24/7.

To attain more balance in our lives, we try all kinds of things: we eat organically, run, walk, or do yoga to help our bodies manage and release the stress. Some see a therapist to release the pain of the past.

Did you know there’s something your child does every single day that can change the way you look at your stressful, busy life?

Watch your child at play, at rest, eating, and interacting with others. She’s 100% focused on whatever she’s doing. She plays with wild abandon and seems to inhale enjoyment with every breath. She’s living in the moment and thrilled to be alive.

I know you’re stressed; we’re all stressed to one degree or another. Believe it or not some of the pressure you feel comes from how you’re thinking about what’s going on in your life.

W. Mitchell says, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.”

Wayne Dyer reminds us, “Change your thoughts, and you change your world.”

Those are not just platitudes. They’re life keys that explain how to manage the stress and frustration you’re dealing with. Yes, the concept is simple, but aren’t most basic truths in life the simplest?

To “change your thoughts,” participate in your daily activities the way a child would. Focus 100% of your thinking on each activity or interaction you’re participating in, and only that activity. One thing at a time, as they say!

If your mind wanders to a stressful place or tries to focus on something you’ll be doing at the end of the day, bring your thoughts back to what you’re doing now and remind yourself, I’m washing the dishes right now, I’m not rushing the kids to school or making dinner. Right now all I need to do is pay attention to washing the dishes.

 When rushing and stressed, take control of your thoughts. Thinking, “We’re going to be late, again!” can actually slow you down and suck your energy because you’re consumed with the negative thinking. Conversely, focusing on how yummy the food is or enjoying how silly the kids are at the moment, energizes you, leads you to peaceful feelings and sets the tone for your day.

Many are quoted as having said, “Watch your thoughts for they become your words…” Lots of moms say, “I’m so busy, overwhelmed and stressed. There’s never any time for me!” Chanting those thoughts over and over again, not only sets the tone for the day, it produces more stress, and makes you feel like you have no choices in your life.

We can’t change what’s on our plate, but we can change how we feel about it.

Let your child’s way of looking at life be her gift to you. It’s priceless!

 

Sharon Silver is the author of Stop Reacting and Start Responding and the Parenting Skills e-class. Go to proactiveparenting.net to download two free chapters from her book and learn about the Proactive Parenting’s flagship big-picture program. Find Sharon on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

7 Responses to “Your Child’s Hidden Gift to You”

  1. dpapsis2

    I think we've all been there. I know I have. I know exactly what this article is talking about too. This is a lot like Dialectical Behavior Therapy developed by Marsha Linehan. Being present in the moment and grounding yourself. If you get distracted you come back to what you're doing. It takes some practice but does help reduce stress.

    Reply
  2. Stephanie

    I fully agree! Parents have the stress of everything, especially with young children. When one is awoken, most of the time, he or she just wants to slam that snooze button, but he or she has to fulfill his or her responsibilities of the day. All the rushing thoughts of what needs to get done is very stressful, and makes it clearly an irritable thing to get done with a mind that is stressed. I find listening to music while doing things around the house makes it a very relaxing state, and also the mindset of: well when I'm done with this I can relax and or treat myself to a nice treat. At the end of the day, I know I have accomplished a lot in a relaxed state of mind, and the more important thing I feel good about it.

    Reply
  3. Shari Lynn Alligood

    I've been there at on point or another in my life, but I do agree with Stephanie in the comment above I find that music playing throughout the day releases my stress level & makes me a more enjoyable parent with a more fun attitude towards my kiddos!

    Reply
  4. Betty Baez

    Been there plenty of times, I also enjoy listening to music. I listen while doing housework and I've noticed it actually makes it a more pleasant if not enjoyable task

    Reply
  5. Angie

    I know alot of families that just overschedule themselves, too. Their kids are the kids that are in EVERYTHING. It is great to be in activities and be social…but there is a point where it can become more stressful than fun. Sometimes it is okay to 'just be'. Great article!

    Reply
  6. Brandon John

    I am a firm believer that stressed out parents produced stressed out kids. We try to be engaged and communicative at home, no matter how we have acted at work or running errands or in traffic earlier in the day.

    Reply
  7. miriama

    One day I had the TV off and was listening to music when my daughter came home. I can't tell you how differently the afternoon progressed. We didn't become lumps in chairs watching a rerun. Our moods were different and we did things together…communicated more, even if it was while doing some laundry or making dinner together. Now I try to turn that television off more. It helps my mood… one of my favorite saying is the one mentioned: It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it.

    Reply

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