Today morning, as usual, I was checking my emails and social media accounts. Most of the time, I find something hilarious such as crazy cat videos or laughing dogs…
But today I found a very inspiring tweet from Action for Happiness, a “movement of people building a happier society”. I clicked on their post and I immediately resonated with it and felt that I must share it with everyone.
The post was not about something extremely revolutionary or something that I didn’t know before. The purpose of the post was, at least for me, to remind myself how to tackle my problems, how not to lose faith, how to make progress.
I know these tactics, I know these… but still, I had to be reminded of them and I will definitely need this reminder in the near future again.
As I am sure that I am not the only one who needs such a reminder, I decided to share it with you:
This motivating poster is originally from positivelyPresent. I highly recommend to check their website out, because you will find a ton of inspirational blog post and resources!
Here is the link to their post on “To Make Progress” where you will find a downloadable version of this picture so that you can make your own. (I’m going to make it using post-it notes and putting it on the wall above my desk.)
How to use this to make parenting easier?
1. Ask for help
I think we all agree that parenting is not so easy… See what I just did there? What did I say? I said, “WE all agree”.
We, because you are not the only one! You are not the only one who has a concern or two about parenting and you are definitely not the only parent in the World… Which means, that there are lots of people who could help you out simply by sharing their experience and knowledge with you. Such as family members, friends, teachers, consultants, doctors, people on the internet…
By asking for help you don’t lose anything. You either get an answer or not. That’s it. There is nothing lose, but all to gain!
Imagine, that you get an answer that you can use and your problem is solved! How fantastic is that feeling??
As a former teacher, I can only encourage you to ask your child’s teachers if you have any questions. I loved when a parent asked my opinion on something or asked for advice. Mainly because I felt that this is one of the reasons why I am there: working with parents together to help with their children’s progress.
2. Embrace imperfection
I am sure that we all know this saying that “nobody is perfect” and we all nod that yes, yes, it’s true. Still, we keep chasing perfection and being judgmental over and over again.
But hey! That’s alright because we are not perfect 😛
By letting go of the idea that I have to do the maximum every day, I have to look good all the time, I have to achieve things to be appreciated… makes me feel free.
This is one of the things that I never forget somehow. I actually don’t need to be reminded of this. I guess because my parents are like this and they really passed down this philosophy to me. I feel so thankful now…
Parents. If you already embrace imperfection, try to teach your children to do the same. They will benefit from it for sure!
Parents, who cannot embrace it just yet: not everything goes as planned so when it happens, try to let that go… then you will feel some kind of freedom. Freedom, that makes you think that you are in charge of your own actions and so whatever didn’t go as you imagined you can still fix that or change that or bring the good out of it.
I remember, some parents came to me asking if they did something wrong in some certain situation. Some of them were even panicking and punishing themselves that they didn’t do their best for their children.
I kept telling everyone that yes, doing early years “right” is very important BUT the main thing is LOVE. Children need love…they need to feel that you love them no matter what and so that they can rely on you anytime.
I did many “mistakes” in my practise… but those mistakes are reminders that I actually did something, I at least tried to do something even if it wasn’t the best maybe… and then I evaluated my actions and came up with something else. Trials and errors, trials and errors…
If you are afraid embracing imperfection, you can always ask for help 😉
3. Be Kind To Yourself
Being a parent is not always “just” being a parent. When your child is born, you become a parent but it doesn’t mean that you can stop doing the things you were doing before. You still need to do the housework, you still need to give emotional support to your friends, you still want to do your hobbies etc… You feel that if you don’t achieve your daily goals, then you must do something wrong and you have to try even harder the next day. At the weekend, you collapse out of tiredness…
Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean that everything is fine as it is and so you don’t need to do anything. You still have your daily/weekly/monthly goals and you try to manage them but don’t forget to praise yourself every day for whatever you achieved. This will keep you motivated to tackle the next problems.
4. Try New Tactics
I met lots of people, teachers and parents as well who couldn’t solve a problem, because they used the same tactics all the time… the same tactics that never worked.
I do understand this behaviour because this is what I did many many years ago. Fortunately, I came across a blog post about this phenomenon a long time ago and I learnt my lesson.
It’s very simple… If you have a recurring problem, think what tactics you used before to solve it, so then you will know at least that those tactics are not working and you should not use them again! Change your tactics, try out new things until the problem is solved. (or embrace imperfection/ask somebody’s help and don’t be too harsh on yourself)
For example, if your toddler doesn’t eat her chicken, even though you asked or shout at her, you might want to try something else, such as making a different dish next time, because what if your daughter will eat the chicken if it is presented on a slice of pizza… or just cutting the chicken to very small pieces and offering a small portion of it… and so on…
The main thing is to look for different tactics that you haven’t used before because repeating the same “notworkingatall” tactics doesn’t make sense, does it? 🙂
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