Never Have a Bad Day Again

Parenting can be challenging to say the least. I think it’s one of the biggest kept secrets… how hard parenting can actually be. There’s no dispute about how rewarding it is, and that’s out in the open… but as for how hard & demanding… that’s another story.

My kiddo and I, a while back, had to change the way we dealt with difficulty throughout the day. He used to say “this is the worst day” or “I’m having the worst day”. And, his attitude would perpetuate itself, drawing more of the same. So I would find us having one bad day after another. This quickly gained my attention, and I had to do something.

I realized that one bad moment should never determine the worth of the entire day. That’s insane! We’d never have a good day again if that were the case. It’d make more sense to hold on to one good moment and make that the theme of the day.

Thing is, life is a series of moments, and my kiddo does have bad moments from time to time. I was ready to go along with him and just say “this day sucks”. But that is not how I wanted to live. I decided that it was just the moment that didn’t feel good. And I told him something we use to this day. This is it….

Life is a series of moments… some good, some bad… some amazing. Our day is a series of many, many moments, so it’s impossible to have a bad day… only a few bad moments.

When he’s having a bad moment, he’s very aware of his unhappiness…. and he knows that it will pass. Kids have bad moments where something doesn’t go their way or they get hurt or their build in Minecraft gets destroyed. This is normal, and it’s an excellent opportunity for them to practice how to handle what they are feeling.

As parents, we can help them see that this is just a moment… and while it is less than desirable, they can handle it, it will pass, and everyone has bad moments from time to time.

We are their teachers. We can model with scripting out loud as we work through our bad moments. How else are they supposed to learn? Here’s an example…

Maybe a payment doesn’t go through, and you say out loud… “wow, this is a bad moment… I have lot of emotion right now… I need to get a breathe of fresh air… I know it’ll be ok… I won’t feel like this forever… this will pass… ” Then take a few breathes and say out loud…”hmm.. what can I do about this? what do I have control over? what’s my next best move here” And, you can continue with more of “I wish this didn’t happen, I’m so upset, but it’ll be ok, it always works out, I’ll figure it out” or you can skip right to solving the problem “I’m going to call them and see about making a payment in a couple of days… maybe they’ll be okay with that”. Being able to model an empowered mindset in difficult situations lifts both you and your kiddo… as you reinforce to yourself as well, that you can handle things that come your way.

My kiddo has some unique challenges, as do most kids these days. And, if I don’t teach him something directly, he might not pick it up through osmosis. All kids can benefit from modeling how to handle bad moments, and bad moments will turn into opportunities for them to master themselves and their mindset. No longer will you or your kiddos ever have a bad day. You will simply have tough moments… maybe some really, really tough moments. However, at the end of each day, you can reflect with your kiddo on all the moments and point out the ones you enjoyed the most, while expressing your pride in how they are handling tough ones better and better each time. It might be more of an expression of faith in their ability to handle the tough moments, until they grow that muscle.

They will hear your voice in their heads one day. What voice will that be? My kiddo will hear things like “I know you can handle this! You will figure this out. This will pass. You are strong. Tough moments are normal, What CAN you do about it (what do you have control over), and You’ll know what to do, You’ll see… it’ll work out, etc.” What you teach your kids is something they’ll have forever. Help them never have a bad day again. You matter more to them than you’ll ever know!

Here’s to our Insightful Kids!

Candice.

Got Parenting? What Kind of Relationship Do You Want With Your Child?

Your Parenting Style Is Your Relationship with Your Child

parenting, conscious parenting, kids, trust

Parenting with love, anger, fear? Everything you do and say is forming the type of relationship you have and will have with your child. Are you in a dictator relationship where they do what you say no questions asked? Are you in a manipulative relationship where they will say and do what they know you want to hear in fear that perhaps you won’t approve of them or love them if they have their own opinions? Or, are you in a conscious relationship where your child can have their own likes and dislikes, their own opinions, and come to you easily with their needs and problems? Perhaps it’s a combination of the above or something different entirely. Either way, you have the awesome opportunity to be the person your child trusts and loves enough to go to with their joys, fears, successes, failures, embarrassments, needs, worries and more throughout their life.

Parenting Style of My Childhood

For some reason, I grew up feeling like I was never good enough… like I had to be perfect… I couldn’t make mistakes… and that I just wasn’t worthy. My parents were good parents, but we never talked about emotions and we were shown conditional love… meaning if we had bad behavior, they would get angry with us. Thing is, I got the message that it was not ok to mess up, and when I mess up they get mad. So, when I did have struggles and even messed up as a young adult more than once, I didn’t know who to turn to. I could have really used a loving parent to lean on, but I was too ashamed and afraid of the judgement I would receive if I opened up… probably more a result of religious dogma and fear, but nonetheless, my truth at the time.

Your Parenting Style and Your Kids

My son is now 6, and I love him no matter what. I am sure to tell him that all the time. I do also make a point to always validate his feelings and set limits on his behavior. Interesting enough, that is not the norm. I was at a back-to-school orientation night, and the director was asking us in the audience to list some qualities that we value in our homes. And, I raised my hand and said “unconditional love”.  She disagreed in front of the entire auditorium and went on to say that it’s pretty hard to love a kid when they are doing the wrong thing. I was shocked at the matter of fact way she discounted what I said. I had truly learned to love my son even though he doesn’t always do the right thing… I had to… my son was just that kid who did the wrong thing often, and I hated the person I was becoming, getting mad and reacting to unwanted behavior rather than responding to it. It was not working for either of us. I’m happy I had the opportunity to learn how to love my son even when he’s not doing the right thing. Besides constantly helping him to identify his own emotions, I feel like I am constantly reassuring him it’s ok to have emotions and make mistakes while teaching him appropriate ways to handle them both.

Love Based Parenting Style Could Change the World

What would happen if all kids got the message that they were loved no matter what? If kids knew they were loved even if they got bad grades, or tried drugs, or had sex or got pregnant? I’m not saying you have to like what they did, I’m just presenting what it would be like if kids who got themselves into a mess actually had an unconditionally loving parent to turn to for help. Perhaps that kid wouldn’t even get into a mess… they’d talk to you about their struggle with their teacher or that subject in school and they would come talk to you about wanting to have sex or about how they may be feeling pressured to have sex. Then, these secure kids would grow into adults knowing they are loved even though they are not perfect, so they can skip the many years of having to learn to love and accept themselves as they are (because they already do) and get right to making a contribution to our world.

Conscious Parenting Can Begin Early

Do you love your kids unconditionally? Really? Can they be who they want and still get your attention? How often does your child come to you with an embarrassing situation or an intimate feeling or thought? How often do you share either with them? I was recently talking with a friend whose husband is a good guy but is sadly distancing himself from his daughter. He had taking her on a hike but decided not to bring water. He talked about how he spent many hours as a kid helping out his family and didn’t have water… and he was proud of how tough it made him. Problem was, in talking to her daughter, my friend finds out that she was really thirsty on the hike, but she didn’t say anything to her father. Was she embarrassed that she needed water… did she think he wouldn’t approve since he could go without water? Whatever the case… this little girl was unable to acknowledge one of her most basic primary needs and communicate that to a person she is supposed to love and trust. What is this teaching her about her needs? That her needs are not important… to not speak up… to comply so that others will love her! Wow, this is so dangerous. All because a father wants to teach their child something. Note to this father and other parents like him: Your child will NOT be coming to you when they are being pressured into sex or drugs if they can’t even express that they are thirsty!

Parenting Made Simple

Love is the answer. Don’t worry so much about what you want to teach your kid. Worry more about modeling how to think constructively, plan ahead, and love with your whole heart. Model how to handle your emotions eloquently. Model how to have fun in a safe way and how to say no when you want to. If you want to teach them something, then ask them how they are feeling? Ask them to check in with their bodies to see if they are hungry or thirsty or feeling like some exercise. Ask them, before the hike, if they’d like to bring water or a snack? (Then when they take a friend for a hike, they’ll consider their friend’s needs and ask them if they would like to bring water, etc.) Empower them with the tools of how to be prepared, how to love, how to understand what they are feeling, and of how to use their voice. Do this by modeling it for them and talking with them about it on a daily basis. Your kids are our future!

Love yourself and your kids enough to be the person they turn to when they need someone most.

Lots of Light,

Candice T . Aguirre