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Struggling To Be A Calm Parent?

Help! I'm not a calm parent

Do you struggle being a calm parent?

Do you beat yourself up for not being a calm parent?

Do you look at other parents and wonder how they have it all together and you don’t?

Do you vow every day that today is the day your going to do your best to be calm?

Do you try be calm but then go from 0-100 when your child triggers you?

If any of this resonates than you are not alone, 99% of parents I work with have these exact same struggles and constantly beat themselves up for those moments when they aren’t calm.

The thing is for many parents they don’t even know what calm feels like and I invite parents to move away from striving for calm and instead replacing calm with the word connected.

You see when we are highly activated and when we are in fight/flight/freeze it’s virtually impossible to be calm. In fact it would be pretty weird if a child was kicking, screaming, hitting and a parent just stood there being totally calm. When a child is dysregulated a parent is going to become dysregulated because our nervous systems are designed to attune to one another.

When a child is dysregulated they are disconnected from themselves. The goal shouldn’t be “how can I get my child to calm down” but instead “how can I help my child connect to themselves?” But in order to do that we have to be connected to ourselves.

What often happens in them heated parenting moments is a child has lost connection to themselves. A parent has disconnected from themselves and then both parties are dysregulated and not able to access their left logical side of the brain which is why we may act in certain ways that we later regret because we are too emotionally flooded.

From this moment on I want to encourage you to stop focusing on “how to be calm” but instead ask “how can I connect to myself.”

What this may look like is:

  1. Awareness – being aware of your fight/fight/freeze response

  2. Acknowledge – “I’m dysregulated right now. This is hard. This is stressful. This feels unsafe”

  3. Self compassion – “Parenting is tough. I’m spinning all the plates so of course its going to feel impossible at times”

  4. Connect to body – this could be through the breath, grabbing a glass of water, splashing your face with water, humming, singing, dancing, movement.

These 4 points will help you slowly connect with yourself in those dysregulated moments.

Sounds simple right? Not quite. This takes time, patience and practice. I wish it was simple I really do. I help parents learn this exact process on my 12 Week Ultimate Parenting Success Course as often parents need some 1-1 support and accountability whilst they work on developing their awareness and creating positive changes. You can read some of my clients case studies by clicking here

Remember the goal isn’t to be calm, the goal is to be connected. It’s absolutely possible to be dysregulated in a healthy way and the more we can practice this the more we can help our children when they are struggling with their big feelings.