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What Children Can Teach Their Parents

What Children Can Teach Their Parents

    Every parent has experienced the phenomena of their child begging for their favourite story to be read, their favourite song to be played or their favourite movie to be watched for the 100th time.

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    Even though we adults might be tempted to hide the favourite book or introduce a new book, CD, or DVD, we must stop ourselves because our children are actually teaching us a huge lesson about how they want and need to be parented.

    When our children repeat a request for their favourite story to be read, it is because they have an innate interest in ‘mastery’. Of course they love to explore new toys, corners, books and movies, but once the all-important excitement of discovery has occurred, children set out to ‘master’ the things that interest them the most.

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    Mastery occurs through repetition.  Young children are driven to discover and then master all aspects of their world.

    Discipline is another area in which children innately crave mastery.  Children test their parents because they are trying to figure out how their world works and what is acceptable behaviour.  While they do their research they do things consciously and unconsciously to investigate their world and it’s limits so that they are able to ‘master’ it.

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    The best thing parents can do is to learn a simple methodology for discipline, get trained to use it and then apply it consistently.  This will decrease the number of times their child needs to test and will diminish the intensity of the testing.  Children whose parents often use different strategies, use bribes or threats become very confused and unsure of themselves.  It is for this reason that many parenting experts say that discipline makes children feel safe and secure.

    One can liken children’s feelings to the experience of hiking down a trail with very few trail signs or markers. It’s confusing!  Without clear signals to keep one on course, one is more likely to make wrong turns and get into trouble.  This is what it’s like for children as they try to learn the path of acceptable behaviour.  When limits are unclear or inconsistent, children often steer off course and get into trouble, thus making mastery of acceptable behaviour very difficult and unsettling.

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    So, as you spend time with your child, remember what it is that they crave the most…mastery.  Let’s be conscious of this and then make a decision to help them master their world with confidence and ease.

    Image: Cuellar

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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