Managing our Parent Tantrums & The rise of the #GuiltFreeMoms

  1. Managing our Parent Tantrums: Most of us feel embarrassed, guilty and ashamed because we fight with our kids — yet we all do it. It would be impossible for a 5 year old to think exactly like a 40 year old, right? So conflict between the two is bound to happen. We all strive to find that sweet spot where firmness and calmness meet. And to do that, we must learn how to manage our own temper outbursts — how can we expect our kids to do it if we don’t do it ourselves? We need to create tactics that can help us cool down “before losing it.” Some moms choose to leave the room and hide for a second in the bathroom, others create “home rules” that everyone needs to follow i.e.: NO ONE screams in the house, everyone communicates with respect, etc.
  2. Reclaiming our Identity: Many new moms lose themselves in motherhood (I am with my baby 24/7, we co-sleep, my boobs are theirs, etc.), leaving them feeling lost and even insecure. How can we reclaim our status as independent women? Which takes me to the next point…
  3. First you, then your children: Because there is so much guilt around being a “good parent,” many women put their kids’ priorities first. But giving too much leads to burnout (even if we are giving to the beings we love the most in the whole world). Imagine how we would be as mothers if were fueled/inspired/energized? We should start a new discourse around how being selfish makes more generous, giving and loving parents.
  4. Flexible Consistency: While we know that kids thrive with consistency (i.e.: not changing the rules when WE feel like it) and routine (bath, dinner, sleep), are we sheltering them too much? How can we give them the consistency they need while helping them prepare for the inevitable curve balls that life presents? How can we help them become more resilient? This piece on Psych Central has some interesting tips.
  5. Stop Controlling, Embrace the Messiness: Of course we don’t want our kids to have a crying outburst in the middle of a restaurant, but why do we get so angry when they do and can’t stop? Author Katherine Reynolds Lewis said to the NYTimes that “anger, tears and other outbursts are a natural part of any child’s development…. But parents who are unable or unwilling to confront that messiness may view their child’s outbursts as a problem that urgently needs to be solved.” How can we be present with these “difficult” emotions instead of trying to find quick fixes?

Things to experiment with

1) Do something this week that will really, truly fuel you (meeting good friends for dinner, going out for lunch and reading a book, taking a drawing lesson).
2) Notice when a “Parent Tantrum” is coming and find your center. Choose how you want to respond, instead of reacting by default.

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Between Us (formerly Dinner Confidential)

Between Us (formerly Dinner Confidential)

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A global community exploring, teaching, and practicing more open ways of communicating — between us. Formerly Dinner Confidential.