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Wellbeing Tips to help you become a supportive parent

Jun 29, 2021
By Ayah Sarhan – Certified Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) Instructor & Coach

You are doing a great job with your kids and you feel confident about how you are raising them, but you have a lingering fear about how others will treat them and what can you do to protect them.  This fear is normal, and that is exactly why parenting requires courage to let go. We as mothers cannot control what is happening when we are not around our kids. But we need to trust our kids and their capability of thinking through difficult situations and handling difficult people. I know it is easy said than done.  Most of us would translate courage as standing up for our kids or jumping in with solutions when we find our kids in the midst of a problem. This is not what I meant by being courageous, unless of course in situations where your child's safety is being threatened.

On the contrary, I view courage as being able to control your stress about your child's inability to figure out solutions for his/her problems and to offer your support instead. By support I mean, talking with your child, helping him/her understand the various dimensions of the problem, and encouraging action towards the solutions s/he sees as appropriate. Here I am talking about everyday situations such debates with their friends, difficulties in studies, decisions about outings or room arrangements, etc…

To be able to work through the above, you need to be calm and relaxed without being rushed or overly controlling. So here are some tips to help you handle your stress and become a calmer and supporting parent: 

  • Some oils have been found to relax chemicals in our brain that can shift our mood and aid in relaxation such as lavender, camphor, peppermint. You can smell them through a diffuser, a scented candle, or rub a few drops at your pulse points. Better yet you can pamper yourself with a light relaxing massage. 
  • Get out of the house, breathe in deeply, have a relaxing walk in nature if possible while listening to your favorite music. Observe blossoms of flowers and be mindful and present while embracing all the shades of colors and scents. Or just engage in an activity you enjoy while savoring every moment doing it; maybe yoga, drawing, painting, or reading. Nature, music, light activities can be very meditative. 
  • For a couple of days or maybe during the weekend, take your kids and spend time on the beach. Notice and release any stress or negative feelings. An added benefit would be the sunlight that can help enhance your vitamin D and thus your mood. 
  • Smiling and adopting a positive body posture will shift your mood and ease stress. 
  • Putting off your devices for a couple of hours or even over the weekend, and enjoy conversation with other positive people (unless these devices are how you are connecting with those people!). Better even cuddle your loved ones or get a pet. 
  • Buy something small for yourself; something personal that will make you feel good and invigorated: a simple piece of accessory, a notebook to journal in, a scent that lifts your mood and refreshes your senses. 
  • Make a gratitude list before going to bed; one to three things that happened during the day that you are grateful for. 
  • Set boundaries with other negative people who just consume your time, energy, and effort without acknowledging or appreciating your hard work. 
  • Contribution towards causes that you are passionate about; education, community services, environment, development, etc. can help you reach a state of content by adding meaning to your life and directing your positive energy out there to the wider community or even the world. It gives you a break from being totally absorbed in and overwhelmed by your problems, and may actually inspire you with creative solutions you may not otherwise reach on your own.

When you are relaxed and joyful, you are able to control your anxiety and support your children better.

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