Guest mini blog – Katie Small counselling katiesmall.com.au
What all this input has done has actually muddied the waters & prevented me from developing my very own thinking.
I’ve been on holidays this week with my family. It’s been a brilliant opportunity for me to zoom out & do some self-observation. We have a 2-year-old who is giving us a great stage for practising the commonly experienced parenting dance of ‘what the heck am I doing?’ & ‘how on earth do I manage this?’ – which produces a great deal of anxious reactivity (from everyone involved!).
Something I’ve been reflecting on is how this lack of confidence in responding to toddler meltdowns stems from the challenge of having been given TOO MUCH information. I’ve been working in children & family mental health now for 8+ years, so you’d think surely, I have it all together, right? Wrong. What all this input has done has actually muddied the waters & prevented me from developing my very own thinking.
Anxiety causes us to often borrow thinking from others… which feels easier than doing our own. We reach for all the parenting books, Instagram gurus, mothers’ groups and so forth to tell us what to do or how to interpret our child’s behaviours. It’s a normal & often effective effort to calm us down & feel more in control in the short term… however what it can do long term is leave us with no real clarity on what WE truly think/believe is best for our children & leave us throwing around strategies that we don’t believe in & therefore are delivered with uncertainty & confusion… leading to a sense of helplessness & unfortunately more challenging child behaviours.
There’s a lot of noise out there when it comes to parenting. My quest this week has been to step back from it all & ask myself, ‘what do I really believe?’ – I have been working on defining my own parenting principles.
And guess what? In doing this, I’ve calmed down & so has my toddler. My confidence has increased & my toddler senses it… more clarity less confusion!
Are you aware of how much thinking you borrow when it comes to parenting & how much is from clear solid principles defined by YOU?
“As parents outsource their development of child-rearing wisdom, they can easily become more uncertain in themselves.”Jenny Brown, quote from the book Confident Parenting: The parent is the project not the child
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Restoring your confidence as a parent by making yourself the project and not trying to change your child
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