Parenting Mindset: How you see your child on hard days & whether you react or respond, is key to your relationship and connection to your children.
Parenting Mindset Plays a Huge Role in the Parent-Child Relationship & Overall Connection
I will be the first to admit that parenting is way harder than I thought it would be. When I was pregnant, I read every baby and parenting book, but those books were about how to help your baby sleep, not about helping build emotional intelligence or tips to help you stay calm when your spirited child takes a sharpie to the bedroom walls.
Now that I’ve been a parent for the upside of a decade, anytime someone whose pregnant for the first time tells me what they believe parenting is going to be like… I gingerly nod my head and slyly smile, and think, “just you wait…”
The picture of what parenting will be like BEFORE you have children is much different after they’ve here.
I have challenging days with my kids all the time.
I have days when I fall asleep exactly 3 minutes after them because I’m bone-tired and can’t even slip into proper pajamas.
I have days when the only thing I feel like I’ve accomplished is cleaning up after a tornado has ripped through the house.
I have days where I look at pictures and feel incredibly blessed to be a Momma to these three incredible people.
This morning my son cried and dragged his backpack the entire block walk to school because I asked him to pack his water bottle. (I know, right?!)
Yesterday, my toddler was admiring her new shoes and walked right into the wall and now has a sizable bruise in the middle of her face.
My other daughter… well, she’s a mixed bag of emotions after school so I tread lightly. Very, very lightly.
Last night I was up for an hour while my dog threw up the entire bag of baby wipes he ate when I went to the grocery store.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that parenting life is a circus.
It’s chaotic, it’s sleepless, and joyful. Having children is full of magical laugher and sweet cuddles, but also peeling your child off the ground at Target when you tell them they can’t have a toy.
Sometimes I want to call a timeout and make everything freeze. I’ll grab an actual hot cup of coffee and sit on the couch for 20 minutes in total silence. Then when I’m ready, I’ll unfreeze time and we continue on.
The thing is, this parenting life we’re living is only as hard as you think it is.
(Of course, there are always going to circumstances which are not what I’m talking about like health scares, crises and events beyond our control. I’m only talking about the day-to-day life with children.)
How you view your child during hard times matters.
It matters so much, that it’s going to help your relationship or become a roadblock to the connection with your child.
What is your Parenting Mindset?
Let me give you an example of two different ways you can see your child:
- You think your child is HARD.
- Do you think your child is hard?
- Do you talk about how hard your child is to other people or in front of him/her?
- Whether you know it or not, this is a mindset you’re creating that your child is difficult.
- It will effect the way you see him, treat him and respond to him and if you say anything these things within ear-shot, this turns into a label of how he sees himself.
- You EMPATHIZE with your child’s behavior and see it as a message for you
- What if you saw that your child, even in the middle of a outburst or act of aggression, is acting out from a place of pain, or sadness, or because they’re scared?
- You may choose to respond differently if you could see what is behind the behavior instead of just thinking they’re being “her,” right?
You’re less likely to assign a label to your child when you look deep at the core of what their behavior is trying to tell you.
I know this, because I used to do this. I used to see my son as hard, difficult, challenging and stubborn… but I was missing all the great things about him when I chose to focus on the negative.
The label I made for him wasn’t fair and I was missing all the good things about him because of it. More importantly, I was missing what was going on inside of him emotionally and unable to respond from a place of compassion and empathy.
A label is simply, a roadblock to parenting your child from a place of kindness.
Examples of a Different Parenting Mindset Perspectives:
- Example of Labeling Mindset:
- “Today is a rotten day. The kids were awful. Sam had a blowout in the car. There are smashed goldfish all over the couch and no one ate the dinner I made. Why do they have to be so hard?”
- Instead of focusing on all the things which went wrong or were a challenge, search for the littlest of things that went well:
- “Today didn’t go well, but we’re all human and we all have bad days. It’s OK for my kids to have a bad day, too. At least they ate all their breakfast and lunch so maybe they weren’t hungry for a big dinner, after all.And actually, they did take good naps and had fun playing at the park. While parts of the day didn’t go as planned, that doesn’t mean the entire day was hard. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all.”
Does Your Parenting Mindset Need Adjusting?
- How do you see each of your kids, partner, family members?
- How do you see challenging moments?
- What is your initial mindset geared towards? (Positive or negative)
- Do you let yourself wallow or simmer in hard moments?
- Do you chose to see the glass half full or half empty?
Having a positive mindset is important to staying happy in motherhood and as parent.
Claim your free set of Positive Affirmations for Moms to help remind you all day long that things, and especially your children’s behavior or misbehavior, isn’t so bad.
The set includes:
- 15 Pages of Positive Affirmations geared towards Moms and Women
- 5 Affirmations Per Page / 75 Total
- Downloadable file to print at home (universal PDF format)
- Hang on the fridge or tape to your bathroom mirror so you see them first thing in the morning. Repeat these mantras over and over to change your thinking!