Identifying your own triggers before you tend to your child’s

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Thought Series : Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 4

From the moment, I’ve experienced ‘being a parent’ – I can say with all my heart & might that ‘Parenting is not for the faint-hearted.’

The cuteness, the excitement – everything wears off, and then you’re left squandering in the muck with your toddler, his/her struggles plus the tantrums, your chores, office stress, the guilt and the nagging thought that “you’re not doing enough!”.

With all the physical, mental and emotional weariness – it’s no surprise that we often lose it, and end up venting out our frustrations on our children. Sadly, they often become easy targets, because we know we can’t safely vent out by hitting or yelling at another adult in the family!

What’s worse, is the guilt-trip that ensues later!! Driving us into a deeper pit!

Let me tell you – this is not how motherhood or parenting a toddler is meant to be. It can be far more civil, peaceful and fun – if only we achieve two things:

  1. Understand our toddler better (especially his/her needs)
  2. Understand ourselves better ( our needs, priorities & triggers)

Throughout this thought series ‘Raising a HAPPIE Toddler’ – we will delve much deeper into your toddler’s needs. But I want to take a day or two out to help us sort ourselves first – as mothers, as human beings – so that we can serve our best selves to our children, when they need us the most.

Today, in specific, I’d like to focus on OUR TRIGGERS.

We’ve cursorily discussed before that ‘Unmet needs lead to Misbehavior’ in toddlers, which means that misbehavior is always triggered.

The same holds true for you, Momma!

If you’ve misbehaved – by yelling, scolding or hitting your child (when you know you could have handled it better, often as an after-thought) – it’s important to acknowledge that you were triggered!

What could those triggers be?

  • Office stress, bad boss, bitching colleagues, office politics…….
  • A family member saying something
  • Your spouse not saying something, when you wanted or expected
  • Physical weariness
  • Not feeling good about yourself – for not spending the day, the way you had planned or wished
  • Your child did something!!

A BIG FAT NOTE : You might often feel your child’s misbehavior was the trigger for your misbehavior. But if you dig deeper into your own heart & mind, you will know – that the REAL trigger was hidden deep within. Your child just pushed you off the edge.

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”

L.R. Knost

How can we share our calm with our child, if our inner self – our mind and heart – is in chaos?

A little step we can take today is to at least identify our triggers. Becoming aware of our triggers, will help us identify when we must be careful with our actions, especially towards our child.

And next time, you realize a hidden trigger which can potentially harm your child (through words/actions) – it’s best to ‘LEAVE’.

Leave your child with another caring adult, and
Leave the scene to take care of your own self first!
Come back renewed, and share your peace, calm and joy with your child!

THOUGHT for TODAY

What are your triggers? Identify & list them down.
Next time, you feel triggered, you know what to do (and what NOT to do!)

Reminder: Are you keeping your self-care promise from Day2?

TOMORROW:

We take a quick look at our PRIORITIES, and are we really living up to them.
That will mark the end of our focus on ‘Physical Well Being /Health’ – Ours & Our Child’s.

Access Previous Days In This Series: Raising a HAPPIE Toddler

Day 0 : Laying out Universal Human Needs
Day 1 : Healthy Parent = HAPPIE Child
Day 2 : Making Self-Care A Habit
Day 3 : Meeting your toddler’s physical needs

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