You Too Can Live Further From The Edge

As a parent coach, parent’s bravely and vulnerably share their parenting struggles and challenges with me. Almost always, they have one thing in common:

They think that they can control and change their child’s behaviour only to find that they can’t. They get more and more frustrated when their child’s unacceptable behaviour persists. This behaviour triggers them so much that they find themselves living on the edge of breaking point. It really gets them down. It is threatening the relationship they have with their child.  And they are exhausted.

Sound familiar?

I ask them all this question:

Do you really believe that you can change your child’s behaviour?

I gently and compassionately help them realize that they can’t.

It’s tough.

No matter how hard we might try, we cannot force another person to change. In fact, the more we push and try, the worse it usually gets. We find ourselves precariously close to the edge or worse still, over it.

At the end of the day the only real thing we can change and control is ourselves.

Or so we like to think…

But let’s be really honest here: most of us will have had our fair share of parent tantrums. I do not know of a parent who has not thrown their toys. I certainly have! I have strayed over the edge…

The reality is that there are times when we can’t even control ourselves.

When we can’t do this, we create a void. A big gaping hole ready for someone else to step into and take control… a toddler or perhaps a teen!

Looking back, there have been times where I joined my toddler in the fight for control or attention and, despite being the adult, thrown down almost as good an Oscar Winning performance as them! On occasions, I have also joined my teenagers and acted just as irrationally, impulsively and rudely as they have! Over the edge…

It never bodes well does it. It only fuels the fire.

Just because I do what I do, does not mean it doesn’t happen to me. Of course it does because my kids are kids and I am a normal Mum. Well, I like to think I am! However, I have learned and adopted ways in which to control myself so that I live further from the edge. And this is where I can help you. And you can learn to help you.

In becoming more aware, we can change and find ways to control our behaviour. And, miraculously, when we do, our child’s behaviour begins to change too.

We have to become so aware of where we are relative to the edge – breaking point. We have to be so attuned with our own fuse and when we are close to blowing it.

We have to be so aware of our minds and the thoughts that are grappling for our attention in the moment:  

When your child is on the supermarket floor, or has got out of bed for the 5th time, or when your teenager is rude to you…. Or when your child is dawdling, not ready, or left their things all over the floor again.

In the moment, we have to be able to let go of our thoughts to find presence. We have to be able to step in and rescue ourselves right HERE. We have to be able to step back from the edge.

Think of your awareness and your breath as being your rescuers. They are your BFF and your own help line.

This is why they can become your most powerful parenting tools. They are mine and they can be yours too. You have them. You just have to learn to use them.

These two are what will help you in the heat of the moment. They can stop you going down the slippery slope and over the edge to becoming a raging beast of a parent. With regular use, they can even help to stop the moment from evening happening in the first place.

In the moment:

Ask yourself: What do you need to do?

Awareness. Check in. Edge check. Stop. Pause. Take a breath.

Ask yourself what your child needs?

Certainly not a highly charged parent when they are in a highly charged state themselves. And you certainly do not need to turn into a raging beast AGAIN!

But how do you not say it? How do you not pick up the rope? How do you stay calm?

How do we stop being taken to the edge at all?

By expanding our awareness through a Mindfulness and meditation PRACTICE.

It is through meditation that you start to build and strengthen the AOMM (Awareness Of My Mind) muscle that I talked about in the first, second and third blog of this series.

Your AOMM is where it’s at.

As with strengthening any other muscle, you can’t hope to get physically strong in one gym session and as such, I like to view my meditation practice as a gym workout for my AOMM muscle.

My awareness has become my buffer. It creates a space within me and protects me from the edge. Meditation continues to build this for me and helps me live further from my edge. It’s amazing! The more I meditate, the less I find myself getting sucked in and triggered by life.

I love helping parents a) understand this and b) develop this practice. That’s why I am writing this blog series and doing the Mindful Monday FB LIVES.

Join me on Mondays at 10am for 10 minutes of AOMM strength training!

Mindfully yours