Your Patience Bucket and Preventing Parental Fires

My mama is 100% Italian! I grew up in a family of people who sounded like they were yelling ALL the time. I learned to talk with my hands, and to shout above others just to be heard. This always seemed like a natural way to communicate until my dad would get up and leave the restaurant because we were being too noisy (he's very quiet, and NOT Italian). Instead of getting up and talking to our friends at the next table, we just yelled out to them.

Fast forward to adulthood, and I've got one very loud child of my own (the other is fairly quiet). My husband is also pretty quiet, but my habits from childhood didn't disappear as I became an adult. Up until a few years ago, the less my boys listened, the louder I got.

When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions,
it's our job to share our calm,
not to join their chaos.
~ L.R. Knost

Learning to control the level of my voice and the anger beneath it, was the hardest habit I've ever had to break. It was also the most necessary. The absolute worst thing you can do for a child with ADHD is scream at them when they "aren't listening". Unfortunately, that is the standard response that most children with ADHD evoke in their parents.  

Our children are struggling to control themselves, so they need us to lead by example. If we cannot control ourselves, how will they ever realize it's possible. When we scream, our children become fearful and shut down.

They may do what they're asked, to get us to stop yelling, but it will ruin the rest of the day for everyone, including you. Their anxiety will increase and their attitude will likely go from bad to worse. If they don't feel your respect, they'll stop showing you respect too, and then you'll have a war on your hands. 

If this sounds like you, keep reading, I've got you covered...

 The best way to prevent a parental fire,
is to keep a bucket of patience handy. 
~ Cynthia Soszka
What You Seek Is Within

Preventing parental fires

The best way to prevent a parental fire, is to keep a "bucket of patience" handy. Some days I wake up and negative thoughts are there to greet me. On "those" days, here are a few things I do to gather more patience in my bucket: 

💙 Go back to sleep and get more rest if I can
💙 Drink straight cucumber juice or a smoothie with cucumber
💙 Drink peppermint tea
💙 Spritz rose water on my face or diffuse rose essential oil
💙 Meditate or do a meditative activity (e.g., walk the dog)
💙 Carry a rose quartz stone or wear reminder jewelry
💙 Take it easy (don't do anything too taxing that day)

One spark away from a blazing fire

What do you do if you're having one of "those" days, and you weren't able to fill up your bucket of patience? If this happens, it's likely that you children will seem especially naughty that day as well. As soon as you recognize you're one spark away from a blazing fire, you'll need to take swift action. Stop what you're doing and take a time out for yourself to regain some patience. Then do the following:

💙 Feel the sensations in your body and release them
💙 Use the mantra, "The patience I seek is within"
💙 Spend some time meditating and focus on your breathing
💙 Listen to music that makes you happy or sing a song
💙 Remember how much you love your children

Engulfed in flames

Ok, so you didn't have time for any of that, and now you're engulfed in flames (metaphorically of course). Retreat as soon as you can make the words stop coming out of your mouth. Seriously, don't start crying and beg your child's forgiveness, just retreat and do the following:

💙 Feel the sensations in your body and release them
💙 Use the mantra, "The calm I seek is within"
💙 Reflect on what went right for you and your child
💙 Try to determine what exactly triggered your parental fire
💙 Write down the trigger and specifics so you can work on it later
💙 Apologize to your child when you have got yourself under control

    When apologizing, let your child know that mommy's not perfect and that sometimes you have trouble with emotional regulation too. There's no need to go overboard and ply them with treats for forgiveness. Maybe ask them for suggestions on how the two of you can avoid a similar situation in the future. They might surprise you with some very innovative ideas. 

    We all go up in flames sometimes. The important thing is that we learn from these experiences, find our triggers, and continue to work through them, so that we can share our calm, instead of joining our child's chaos. This is indeed the hardest lesson I've ever learned. I'm far from perfect, but I'm getting better and better at preventing parental fires. If I can do this, so can you! 💙

    What's your worst habit? I want to hear about it below in the comments. 

    In peace and happiness, 

    Cynthia's Signature

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