How to recover from a mama tantrum

mama
S#%^t it happened again… an other mama tantrum, and a big one. I wish it didn’t happen but it did. Once you become mindful, you just can’t go back – you know that attachment drives connection and that disconnection is the worse thing of all…

I am very proud to say that I don’t yell, yet, my mama trantrums are not pretty at all – I am stubborn, I want things done my way and immediately – this big “ego” of mine doesn’t understand that another little person wants and is allowed to want things her way too!

Unfortunately I was not able to stay calm and show empathy when my daughter needed it, I wasn’t able to understand her discomfort and help her get over it because I only saw mine. What happened doesn’t really matter, I can loose my temper for a lot of reasons – so can everyone. I am taking full responsibility for the situation, her tantrums and mine are just the same: we express discomfort – the difference is I can and should be able to control mine!

Kate, from Peacefulparentsconfidentkids wrote:

I don’t always get it when my daughter is screaming at me or her sister and sometimes I don’t even really try. Sometimes it is easier to pass it off as tiredness or hunger and just simply her personality, rather than to truly see what is going on. It can be exasperating and if my mind is not strong, it can be easy to show annoyance and reflect my own hardships at having to deal with it, back at her. I am now beginning to realise that when I let myself become affected by her behaviour and begin to believe that my hard time is harder than her hard time, I am no longer being the respectful parent I am aiming to be. My reactions become intolerant and unempathetic. The effects of these reactions for my beautiful, sensitive girl are long lasting

I work on myself to get rid of old patterns, to be present just where I am and to fully embrace the moment… being mindful takes time and practice so until I know better here are the steps I try to focus on to move forward as quick as possible:

  1. Forgive myself: yes I know, this is cliché but otherwise, guilt is there right in the corner. Big tantrum = big guilt = longer disconnection = longer recovery = child in pain
  2. Apologize and move forward: If Big tantrum = disconnection = child in pain – I should apologize. I realize that apologizing gives me perspective.
  3. Offer closeness & big hugs… Reconnect: If of course we both can offer / accept hugs… otherwise, I try to give some space

In general, to prevent those situations where my mind is weak and I’m intolerant or annoyed I try to focus on the bigger picture:

  1. Lower expectations: I try to remember that my child is ONLY 3.5. I often get frustrated because of the gap between my expectations and the reality (which is often the case most of the time)
  2. Stay positive: “Set your child up for success rather than challenging him/her to fail. For younger children, that often means expecting that they will need assistance from you to complete tasks or follow certain directions” (3 Ways to Stop Parental Frustration Before it Starts) I try to ask her if she needs my help when I ask her for something.
  3. Perspective, perspective, perspective: My girl is doing her best, always, you know what: she really is! she wants to succeed in what she does as much as I do. Mistakes is a learning process – and to be honest, this is exactly what I preach, so this is what I need to allow.
  4. Context: understand, see and always allow, accept and validate big feelings…

Children act aggressively to express a variety of feelings that all come under one heading: Discomfort. Understanding this truth is crucial for parents committed to respectful care, because our perceptions of our children’s behavior will always dictate our responses. When we treat an uncomfortable child in need of our help and safety like a bad kid needing scolding, a lesson, or punishment, we create distance, fear, and even more discomfort. And so the cycle continues. (The Most Important Thing to Know About Your Child’s Aggression)

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Find yourself first

find-yourself-rumi

“Go find yourself first, so you can also find me”.

What do you think about that?

Lately, this resonates with me a lot… as hard as it is to accept, I believe that, for me, there is no other way. I try very hard – very very hard – to parent respectfully, to give my child what she deserves: respect, a healthy relationship model, available parents… I am focusing on learning, listening, responding, improving ALL the time. I am focusing on her. I feel the pressure, I want to find the right words, turn No into Yes as much as possible, pick my battles and give her space when possible.

So yes, I have been focusing on her, sometime exclusively, forgetting other important things: Focusing on ME! Finding ME 1st , healing ME 1st, knowing ME 1st, understanding ME 1st and respect ME 1st. I am focusing on her not only because I want to, but also because, to be honest, it’s easier to focus on her than on myself.

I want to be an available parent, a respectful parent who can accept & understand all my child’s emotional states – no just the good ones. I want to remain calm & handle my own emotions right 1st to remain connected. Children are learning everyday, small children have trouble coping with a lot of their emotions, so they turn to us – their only source of regulation available – because if everything is right, they feel secure to be themselves around us, & because they feel loved and validated.

After reading a lot on that subject, I found that, our children push our buttons because they are our children, it’s as simple as that. Unconsciously our children stimulate feelings of our own childhoods (especially strong feelings, probably unprocessed) when they act out. We too, are overwhelmed by their strong emotions. My child may be pushing my buttons, but I AM responsible for my actions and what I choose to do with the situation – in other words: “my buttons” are my responsibilities & I am the adult in the relationship with my child.

I need to find ME 1st, support ME 1st, understand ME 1st in order to also find her – in order to be fully present for her & show real empathy when she needs it.

The steps I take to “Find ME 1st” (thank you dear husband for helping me find them!).

  1. Work on myself: 1st step, recognize that this is a priority and that the journey is long. I learn self-acceptance once a week (for over a year now)
  2. Go to the gym
  3. or / and take yoga classes
  4. Practice meditation

May 2015 be the year you find yourself. May this year bring you calm, happiness and rest.