Confident parenting from a different angle

confident parenting from a different perspective

Confident parenting from a different angle

You know those amazing photos that show ordinary objects from a weird angle? Things like a simple square turn into a fork as the object is swung round, and you see the length of the shaft and then the prongs on the end slowly come into view. I find them really fascinating. In fact, I bought my husband a book of optical illusions for Christmas a couple of years ago, thinking that he’d spend half an hour or so marvelling and wondering at the cleverness of it all. I was wrong. Next time I’ll buy one for myself!

But the ability to see things from a different perspective is a powerful way of discovering strengths we never thought we had. What we constantly perceive as weaknesses can be seen in a different light.

What do I mean?

Well, take the context of a rainy day. Now, I live in Scotland where there’s no shortage of rain most of the time – in fact we had an absolute waterfall gushing over our neighbour’s wall and into our back garden not long ago. The drains and ditches had all blocked up and then overflowed. It looked fantastic from our upstairs window, and our hens metamorphosed into ducks, but it didn’t do a lot for the kitchen wall.  My husband marched up the road, spade in hand, to try to divert the growing torrent away from the house. Yep, it was a pain for us.  But, had the rain fallen over a farmer’s drought-stricken field it would have been a good thing for him. Same event, different meaning.

What’s shouting loudest in your ears, and can you change it?

confident paretn in the midst of uproarSo, you know those voices that you get ringing in your ears, telling you you’re too strict, too laid back, too lazy, too busy and so on? Well, let’s have a go at turning them round and see what we can discover. Instead of saying ‘I’m lousy at running a business, or starting a gym regime’ for example, say ‘I’ve had the courage to step out into something new, and it might feel a bit scary, and I might not feel totally in control, but well done me for taking the plunge when most people stay safe and sit on the side.’ Have a quick look at this wonderful little video from Gretchen Rubin, ‘Ten Ways to Be Happier at Home’ especially number seven.

Now, here are some typical parenting ‘mantras’ we hear ourselves saying

along with some alternative ones we can begin to use once we start to see things from a different perspective.

I get angry because the kids are always pestering me: I’m a brilliant problem-solver.

I always panic about the state of the house when I know someone’s coming to visit: I’m really good at being motivated when I’m under a bit of pressure.

I’m useless at keeping on top of the laundry and always leave it till the kids have nothing to wear: I deal well with a crisis.

I get annoyed by the mess: I have great attention to detail.

I’m fed up. No-one appreciates what I do: Parenting is one of the most important things I will ever do in my life.

My teenager is avoiding me: I’m not the only person is his/her life. Maybe someone else has upset them today and they just don’t know how to talk about it yet.

I’m useless at being a mum (or dad): Parenting is a tough job. It demands strength and patience to do what I do. I might not always get it right, but I know I do my best.

I can’t …  I don’t know yet how to …

What does your mental audio track keep telling you? If you struggle to find a way to reframe the ‘playback’ let me know, and let’s see if we can work out how to turn it around for you.

Keep being brilliant!

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