I was just counseling a mother, who kept on saying, “I can’t handle my kid, he is so difficult.” One of the strategies that we discussed was changing her mindset. I told her to tell herself, “I can handle this. Sometimes my kids misbehaves but most of the time he is fun to be around. I can figure this out.”
When we parent it is important to listen to the messages we are telling ourselves. There are emotionally charged statements, stress producing and emotionally peaceful statements, stress reducing. An emotionally charged statement makes us angry at ourselves and we will often lash out at the people around us. Emotionally peaceful language is soothing, it calms us and helps us focus on solutions to our problems without beating ourselves up.
“This kid is driving me crazy.”
“Something must be bothering him.”
” I am an awful mother”
“I am not the only mother who finds one particular child challenging. Good mothers sometimes have trouble raising their children”.
” My child is so difficult and annoying.”
“She is sensitive, she has a rough time when it gets busy in the house. She just needs some attention.”
“I need to be a good mother, loving, kind, peppy all the time.”
“Sometimes I will do the right thing and sometimes I will do everything wrong. I am human.”
Talk to yourself kindly and gently. That is the key to be a more loving mother. When you take that first step with yourself you will find yourself being more kind and gentle with all the people in your life, most importantly, your family.
Adahan, Miriam: Raising Children to Care. Jerusalem, Feldheim Publishers,1999