Feeling appreciated, even with a critical spouse

Episode # 64  I want to feel appreciated – coaching session

Do you struggle to feel like your spouse really appreciates all the work you do?

Are you a stay-home mom but feel like you have to “pull your weight”. Working really hard to do everything right, thinking you haven’t EARNED self-care?

Then this episode is for you!

Listen in as I coach a new mom into feeling worthy and deserving of the great life she has.

We all come to parenting with an invisible manual of what makes a good mom. This manual contains beliefs like:

Kids get good grades, eat healthy well-balanced meals, and are respectful and obedient.

Moms keep a tidy home, organized and cook delicious meals. Moms are patient with their kids, creative and love every moment of parenting their children.

When we don’t think we are living up to our perfectionistic picture of what a “good mom” should be doing, we feel guilty, inadequate and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be better.

 

This anonymous client, wants to feel appreciated even when her husband makes a critical comment.

When he criticizes something, she feels like she’s not measuring up. She worries that her husband thinks he made a mistake when he married her.

 

Circumstance – Husband makes a critical comment

Thought – I’m not measuring up. He made a mistake by marrying me

Feeling – scared (brain goes into the fight, flight or freeze response)

Action – compare & despair, pretend everything is ok, tell herself I shouldn’t be so sensitive, try extra hard to be perfect, withdraw love from husband, put pressure on, ignore own needs.

Result – You both are in critical brains instead of coming from love.

 

Marriage is unpredictable. We have no idea what’s going to happen in the future. All we know is in the past he chose to marry you, and right now, he is choosing to stay married to you.

 

Circumstance – Husband makes a critical comment

Thought – I can love him.

Feeling – loving, affectionate

Action – What do you LIKE about the meal? Shift both of your brains out of criticism and into love. “What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?”

R – Feel more loving and generous. Both enjoy the marriage more.

 

When you are in fear, you also can’t feel loving. Release the fear and you both get to enjoy feeling loving towards one another.

At the end, I mention the Supermom Challenge. With all of us stuck at home with kids, I think now is the perfect time. The 7-day Supermom Challenge is all about reconnecting with yourself, paying attention to what you want and need. Mark your calendars for April 20 – 26.

SIGN UP FOR THE SUPERMOM CHALLENGE

Staying sane at home with kids (COVID-19)

Question of the Day:

Any suggestions for how we all survive the next 3+ weeks without school due to COVID19? How do we stay sane?

Jacqueline

Parent Educator Answer: 

Staying home with kids for 3+ weeks is actually a neutral circumstance. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this even though most moms would agree it’s a recipe for insanity. What Jacqueline’s question showed me, is that her brain had gone into fight, flight, or freeze. 

The fight, flight or freeze response is our brains natural instinct when faced with a life threatening situation.  Our brain can’t differentiate between real life and imagination. Whatever she is thinking and imagining how the next few weeks would be, it’s a very fear inducing picture. 

The way fight response shows up for Supermoms during Covid 19:

  • Yelling at your family to wash their damn hands, not go outside, disinfect, etc.
  • Getting annoyed with kids for not doing enough school work, making too many messes, just about everything.
  • Fighting with husbands over the distribution of labor in the home, leaving the house…everything.
  • Arguing with reality. Blaming. Rebelling against recommendations. 

 

The flight response shows up for Supermoms by:

  • Busily moving from one task to the other, anything with a sense of urgency. 
  • Getting annoyed with kids for not working hard enough.
  • Emotional eating, drinking, or other avoidant activities.
  • Calling everyone you know.
  • Ignoring requests to stay home.
  • Intellectual action: researching, worrying, planning, anticipating future problems.

The freeze response can look like:

  • Moving slowly, not really accomplishing anything.
  • Binge watching netflix or news channels 
  • Over sleeping, feeling lethargic, zombie mommy mode
  • Not feeling fully alive or present. 
  • Difficulty making decisions or thinking clearly. 

 

I can’t help Jacqueline unless I know what exactly she is scared of.

If Coronavirus social distancing is leaving you worried or anxious, the first step is to ask yourself what specifically you are afraid of and why you are afraid of it. Sometimes you need to ask “why” a few times to get down to the core fear. 

Here’s Jacqueline’s response to my question, “What specifically are you afraid of?” 

“For me, I am most concerned with staying patient, especially with my 6 year old who struggles to follow instructions and is often very needy.

With school and camps in the summer we get a break from each other regularly enough to stay sane. Several weeks together seems daunting!

I don’t want to resort to screen time but need to get my own work done. Setting boundaries with her about time for me is challenging. 

I wish this could feel like a gift of time with the kids but I don’t enjoy parenting much, so it fills me with dread. So many people are going to be worse off so I hate to complain.”

Now that we know her main concern is “losing patience” we can dive into the life coaching answer. 

 

Life Coaching Answer:

What Jacqueline doesn’t realize is that the thing that’s scaring her the most is what she is going to say to herself about herself when she loses her patience. It’s always the biggest fear. We think our children dying is our biggest fear, but people die. Death and grief are normal parts of the human experience. The WORST thing that will happen is what we will say to ourselves if they die: “I shouldn’t have let her go to the park.” “I should have been more diligent with the hand washing.” “I failed as a parent.”

What are the scary things Jacqueline will say to herself when she loses her patience with her daughter? I don’t know, but I’m going to guess it’s something like, “I messed up.” “I’m not a good mom.” “I’m failing.” It’s the shame and guilt that follow that kind of self berating, that is making this shelter-in-place seem unbearable.

Jacqueline says, “I don’t enjoy parenting much so it fills me with dread.” But the cause of dread is the thoughts she will have about herself in the future. When she attempts to do something like set a boundary with her child but are filled with dread, worried about the beating you will give yourself after, it makes it really hard to set that boundary. 

Kids can sense our wishy-washy energy and dismiss it. When we’ve got an “inner mean girl” inside our heads that we don’t have control over, it makes it hard to parent from calm confidence. 

What I work with my clients on, is recognizing this “inner mean girl” and learning how to work with her. Say hello to her, but don’t let her be in charge. This is your brain and your life and you get to decide how you want to feel about your parenting. 

Feeling guilty sucks. Sometimes we think guilt is a sign of being caring and conscientious but it doesn’t help you parent effectively. Your daughter deserves to have a mom who is confident, peaceful, and joyful. Make a decision to speak nicely to yourself no matter how imperfectly you parent. Set the intention to support yourself with kindness and compassion, especially during this crazy time. 

 

Supermom Kryptonite: Thinking life should be “business as usual” 

 

So many moms are stressing themselves out trying to be the perfect homeschooling parent while continuing to do a seamless job working from home. If ever there has been a time to let perfectionism go it is NOW. 

We are so accustomed to following orders and doing what we are told that it’s natural we would try and bring that into a pandemic. We learned how to be successful in life by jumping through hoops, getting good grades, doing what others expected of us, and obeying expectations. 

The SCARY and BEAUTIFUL thing is that there is NO RIGHT WAY to move through a global pandemic. Other than STAY HOME, we get to figure out what works for us. There is no right or wrong here. 

Can you have kids playing in the background during client calls? of course! 

Do you have to homeschool? Absolutely not. 

Can you be in the kitchen during conference calls? How else will your kids eat? 

Won’t your children fall behind if they don’t stay on top of their school work? Every child will fall behind.

Can your kids go a week without bathing?  MINE DID!

There are no rules to surviving a global pandemic; and that’s ok. Create a structure if that feels good to you. Let your kids sleep, cry, play, and do whatever they need to do to adjust to this new normal. 

We have no idea what will happen at the end of this. Our economy is falling apart. Certain infrastructures will not survive. The skills you and your kids will need in the future are resourcefulness, passion, curiosity and being open to opportunities. 

My highest hope is that kids will use this time to explore their own interests and discover their passions. With this break from school as we know it, I would love to  see a mini-renaissance. Children will discover their own creativity, explore art, music, and other pursuits ignited by curiosity and passion, not from external authority. 

Our children will remember this “Coronavirus Quarantine” for the rest of their lives. Let’s do whatever it takes to make it a positive experience for them, and US. Let it be a time where you softened and they had freedom to explore. A time of independence where they learn to cook, do laundry, and trust that the answers they need to be successful in life have always been inside them. 

  

Supermom Power Boost – Netflix Party Workout 

 

My 15 year old daughter introduced me to a Netflix Party Workout. You can get the free Netflix Party Chrome Extension which allows you to watch a show while interacting with your friends. Once you and your friends have picked a show to watch together, go on Pinterest and search “Netflix workouts.” There you will see fun creative ways people have been turning their favorite shows into exercise programs. 

“Squat during every surgery on Gray’s Anatomy and plank when they talk about sex.” 

“Do a burpee every time Jim from The Office looks at the camera.”

“Five pushups when Sheldon states a scientific fact on Big Bang Theory.”

“Do ten lunges every time someone on Survivor finds an immunity idol”

“Ten jumping jacks every time ‘He who must not be named’ is named.” 

 

I love how this combines socialization, exercise, and entertainment. What I love even more is that this is something the younger generation made up on their own, demonstrating their resourcefulness, desire to stay connected and have fun.

 

Quote of the Day:

“The greatest danger during times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Drucker

 

(coronavirus special) Teaching kids to stay safe without teaching them to be scared.

Hi Supermoms!

These are some crazy times we are living in!

Schools closing, sporting events and activities cancelled, adult kids moving home from college.

Life coaches are trained to help you navigate uncertainty. If you are thinking now is a good time to get support so you can be the best version of yourself, go to www.LifeCoachingforParents.com and sign up for a free discovery call.

I’m going to be offering more webinars and challenges coming up to help support Supermoms so be sure to join the Supermom is Getting Tired Facebook Group.

On today’s podcast, I am sharing a visualization – meditation that is designed to help you step out of crazy brain and connect to the calm stillness within. Listen to this whenever you need to drop into a state of calm peacefulness.

Ten years ago, I taught a workshop called “Teaching kids to stay safe without teaching them to be scared.” It was filled with the first and most important lessons I learned from life coach training. It seems like now would be a good time to offer this workshop again.

Before I discovered life coaching, I thought the only way to keep kids safe was to worry about them. Worrying seemed like good parenting. I would point out all the things they should look out for and do, until they internalized my fear and did their own worrying

I thought worrying meant I was a good and responsible parent. But it made me miserable. I was scared all the time. Constant triggering of the fight or flight response created anxiety. Anxiety, for those who haven’t experienced it, sucks. You put your ability to feel safe into the hands of others, making you feel like you have to control the world in order to feel better. It’s a terrible way to live.

We are currently living in a time with huge amounts of cultural fear. This Coronavirus is something that, in my twenties and thirties, would have sent me into a tailspin of anxiety. I would have worried, stockpiled toilet paper and made my kids crazy trying to get them to be as freaked out as I was.

With the life coaching tools I have in my tool belt, I know how to take responsible action from peace instead of fear. I used to think if I wasn’t worried, I wouldn’t do the right things to stay safe. I thought I had to be scared in order to motivate me.

Having high empathy makes me really susceptible to feeling the emotions of others but I have learned how to manage my brain in times of fear and I’d like to teach you.  If you also struggle to stay peaceful and joyful when others around you are scared, please sign up for my free class “Teaching kids to stay safe without teaching them to be scared.”

This Thursday, March 19 at 9:00amPT / 12:00pmET. If you are listening to this after the 19th, you can still sign up and watch a recording of the class.

SIGN UP FOR THE FREE WEBINAR

Along with helping you teach kids to be safe without teaching them to be scared, this class will help you….

  1. Feel relaxed and at peace during these uncertain times.
  2. Understand worry and anxiety and turn it into love.
  3. Make the most of this global event by tapping into your higher self.

 

Understanding what was happening in my brain helped me take charge of it, and not pass my worries onto my kids.

I am offering this class, “Teaching kids to stay safe without teaching them to be scared” for free this Thursday, March 19th. Go to www.lifecoachingforparents.com/webinar

Just go to bed already so I can get some peace!

I get home from a long day at work. After commuting home in bumper to bumper traffic, I am exhausted. I pull into my driveway and begin my second job: trying to get my kids fed, cleaned, and into bed. If they would just do everything I say, then I could relax. But they don’t. They goof around, ignore me, dawdle, meanwhile I get angrier and angrier. I’ve tried to create systems and be organized to keep the evening running smooth but my family sabotages my attempts at organization. How can I get them to frickin’ GO TO BED ALREADY so I can have a moment of peace?!

Jessica

 

Parent Educator Answer:

Jessica, I can hear your frustration, but after coaching hundreds of Supermoms just like you, I have a hunch that what really is going on for you is exhaustion.

It sounds like you’ve been listening to advice with creating organizational systems, but no amount of organizing can solve a problem of fatigue. 

You want the kids to go to bed so you can relax. You think the only way you can relax is by finishing your tasks. But when we treat kids like tasks on our list, they rebel. They act silly, naughty – whatever they can do to shake us out of “task mode” and connect with them in meaningful ways. Many Supermoms have stressful beliefs that make them resistant to relaxation:

“There’s too much to do.”

“More work will pile up later”

“I can’t relax until everything is done”

When you feel tired but you push through your fatigue ignoring your own body, it creates tension and pressure. This self imposed pressure causes us to snap at kids and act impatiently. It creates tunnel vision. The only thing you can see is getting through to that finish line at the end of the day. 

This isn’t a problem of getting kids to bed as much as it is a problem of you feeling exhausted. 

The only solution for fatigue is rest. You are trying to get to it by getting all your tasks done, but as a busy working mom, this will never happen. There will always be more work to do. You need to learn to rest while work remains undone. 

Learning to relax, before your chores are done, is really quite simple. Here are some easy options 

  • Listen to a 10 minute meditation before you go into the house. 
  • Take 3 deep breaths and say the word “release” with each breath.
  • Do a body scan. Notice what you are feeling and where you feel it.
  • Repeat a mantra like, “In this moment, all is well.” 
  • Do 5 minutes of yoga poses, focusing on breathing and balancing.

 

Your energy goes where your attention goes. When you are thinking about clients and colleagues all day, your attention gets pulled outside yourself, draining your energy. When your kids are pulling on your attention saying “Mommy look at me!” “Listen to me!” it drains your energy. Even if you leave the house to get a break, if your thoughts are still on work or kids, it will drain your energy. The only way to restore balance is to turn off your busy brain and focus your attention on your physical body. 

Life Coaching Answer:

What gets in our way from taking short breaks during the day to focus on ourselves? 

The strange cultural idea that a good mom should be self-sacrificing, efficient, clean, and put everyone else’s needs before her own. We are not robots. We are not a cog in the machine of productivity. We are humans and we need to respect the human body as it is designed. Rest when you are tired. Work when you have energy. Play to restore your spirit. Please fight against this ridiculous notion that we are BETTER mothers when we IGNORE our bodies and our humanity. 

 

The other BIG obstacle to getting Supermoms to rest when they are tired is the 3 P’s. 

  1. Perfectionism
  2. People-pleasing
  3. Pushing to power through

 

All three of these create enormous amounts of PRESSURE. This pressure robs us of our creativity and our problem solving. It makes bedtime feel like walking through mud, trying to catch slippery fish. When we feel pressured to get it all done, do it right, make people happy, and ignore our own fatigue, it brings out the worst in us. We can’t even see that it’s possible to relax before the kids are in bed. We can’t imagine leaving the dishes undone and feeling peaceful about it. These 3 P’s are toxic to our happiness and our ability to feel in control of our lives. 

Try this for a minute. Think about your evening routine with the kids: dinner, homework, baths, screen time, bed. Can you notice the pressure you feel? Imagine it like sandbags sitting on your chest and shoulders. Now imagine that you can lift these sandbags off your chest and just move them to the side. You can always put it back on, but let’s just see what your evening routine would be like without the pressure. Do you notice that it’s easier to breathe without the pressure. Without carrying so much pressure, this bed time routine can be lighter, easier, possibly even enjoyable. 

Without the perfectionistic, people pleasing and pushing to power through your fatigue, you might be able to come up with relaxing ways to connect with your kids. You might find amusement in their goofy bedtime antics. You might use your creativity to discover wind down activities that work for your kids like audiobooks or giving hand massages.

 

This does take some time but it is worth it. Once my clients are able to remove their self imposed pressure, they start relaxing, respecting their bodies needs, releasing the frustration and enjoying their evening routine. 

 

Supermom Kryptonite – worshipping productivity

 

Some of us have a default setting in our brains that prioritizes productivity above all us. Whether it’s the role modeling we got from our moms who never rested, the old protestant work ethic, or cultural programming like “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” or maybe you just like being productive? Either way, these messages about productivity being the most valuable use of time and energy are today’s supermom kryptonite. 

 

I used to love going to my kid’s volleyball tournaments. These are long, twelve-hour days, an hour or two from home. For me, it was a no guilt, no obligation holiday. My cultural programming agreed that watching my kids play was “good mommying” but there was a lot of down time in between games. I loved that I wasn’t in charge of anything. I could hang out and chat with other parents, I could read, go for a walk, sometimes I would sit in my car and write a blog or take a coaching call, run errands, whatever I felt like doing. It was a lovely way to spend a day, until I ruined it.

This last tournament was up in the wine country, two hours away. I met up with a friend for lunch who I hadn’t seen in a while. It was lovely. But the whole time I kept thinking, “I should be getting my work done.” Just because in the past I had occasionally been productive during these tournaments, now I was pressuring myself to get work done while there. Listening to this voice in my head telling me I SHOULD be working made the tournament much less enjoyable. 

 

Intellectually, most of us would agree that worshipping productivity doesn’t sound ideal, yet at the end of the day, we judge ourselves based on how much we accomplished. Very rarely do I

 evaluate myself by asking: Was I kind? Did I uplift the energies of the people around me? Did I push outside my comfort zone today? Did I act aligned with my values? 

 

Instead, I’m focused on what I did or did not accomplish. This is worshipping productivity and I say we stop by doing today’s Supermom Power Boost. 

Supermom Power Boost: Do Nothing

 

Pick a day on your calendar and declare it a DO NOTHING DAY. Much like the volleyball tournaments used to do for me, having a day off to do whatever you feel like doing is nourishment for the soul. If you relate to Jessica and feel tired and cranky at the end of your days, it is especially important. For some of you, this will be hard to do inside your home. If so, you can go to a spa, check into a hotel, go for a drive, wander around the city, whatever feels delicious to you. 

The purpose of the DO NOTHING DAY is to get you back in balance. You don’t have to stare into space for 12 hours, unless that is what you feel like doing. You just want to listen to your own body and spirit. Nap if you feel like napping. Eat when you feel like eating. Move when you feel like moving. It’s too easy to ignore yourself when others are around, so make this a day just for you. 

I have had many delightful DO NOTHING days that stand out in my memory. 12 hour spa days. Driving around listening to a great audiobook (Anita Moorjani’s, Dying to Be Me). Wandering up and down the aisles of libraries or bookstores. Reading my book while being brought food that I did not have to cook or clean up after. Falling asleep on a park bench in the sunshine. Whatever you do on your DO NOTHING DAY, make sure it is UNPRODUCTIVE, feels delicious and nourishes your body and spirit. 

 

Go into our Facebook group and tell us about it. Let’s change the cultural programming to start celebrating moms who care for their bodies and souls. 

 

Quote of the Day: “Rest until you feel like playing, play until you feel like resting. Never do anything else.” Martha Beck

Interview with Dr. Dan Peters

Interview with Dr. Dan Peters

When I was raising my sensitive, anxious, intelligent little boy, Dr. Dan Peters was a god send. He had an incredible way of explaining what was happening in my child, without making me feel like I wasn’t doing enough. So many parenting books triggered my inner perfectionist and left me feeling inadequate but I loved learning about the inner working of children’s brains from Dr. Dan. (I can tell I was nervous/excited because I said “you know” a million times!)

 

Dr. Dan Peters is a psychologist, author and co-founder of Parenting Footprint, a podcast and online community with the mission to make the world a more compassionate and loving place, one child and parent at a time.

Dr. Dan is an author, speaker and contributor to many books and articles related to parenting, family, giftedness, twice-exceptionality, dyslexia, and anxiety.

He is Co-Founder/Executive Director of Summit Center (CA), specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families, with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families as well as anxiety.

I mentioned him on my podcast interview with Debbie Reber because he also has a sleep over summer camp for gifted youth.

 

Book: Dyslexic Advantage 

Documentary: The Big Picture

 

Listen to hear the answers to these questions:

How do you define giftedness, dyslexia?

What is 2e or twice exceptional?

 

Client question: What do you do with an angry outburst like this…?

“My 9 year old son thinks his life was perfect before his sister was born. She recently won an award at school and he LOST it! Saying she ruined his life and he wants to kill her.”

Client question: How do I manage a 16 year old who is obsessed with video games? 

“Left to his own devices, my 16 year old will play 12 hours of video games. I’m worried he is ruining his life. How much intervention and management is appropriate for a 6’4″ teenage boy.” 

 

What are signs of anxiety in teens and tweens?

 

When is a good time to consider medication?

 

Why do you think anxiety is on the rise in todays kids?

What are 3 things parents can do to encourage brain health?

 

Friendship conflicts: “You can’t come to my birthday party”

“You can’t come to my birthday party” – Dealing with friendship conflict

Episode #59

“Our daughter seems to have good friends in general but somehow, at 5, there’s already drama! Every day someone tells another girl they won’t be their friend anymore or that they’re not invited to their birthday party next month etc. She also has a terrible time when she’s not in charge of what she and her friends are playing. How do you coach a young girl through communication and understanding they’re thoughts and feelings? She is a very sweet and kind girl with a stubborn and hard headed streak. Right from birth the doctor and nurse told us she’s going to let us know what she thinks.”

“She comes to life when she gets to direct everything that’s going on and has full attention on whatever she wants to play. She has flourished with kindergarten and is always excited about her day at school and can’t wait to go back.”

Sarah

 

Parent Education Answer:

 

It sounds like you are interested in teaching your daughter some emotional management. The reason she is saying, “You can’t come to my birthday party” or “I’m not going to be your friend anymore” is because she is experiencing an emotion she doesn’t know how to deal with. 

 

Your daughter sounds like a natural born leader. She comes to life when she is in charge and is very vocal and communicative. These are excellent qualities we don’t want to squash. We do however, want her to have friends while she climbs her way to the top so the trick is to teach her some emotional management techniques. 

When other kids aren’t obeying her, I imagine she gets frustrated, annoyed and disappointed. Can any Supermoms relate to this? It’s a pretty typical reaction. Our kids or husband won’t pick up after themselves, we feel frustrated and powerless, so we snap, yell or manipulate them into doing what we want. Hurt people will hurt people. Annoyed people say annoying things. Disappointed people, disappoint others. 

There are a few ways you can help your daughter deal with her feelings of frustration, disappointment, or powerlessness.

  1. Talk about your own feelings. An emotion is one word, a thought is a sentence in your mind. Start describing your emotions with the phrase, “I feel _______.” (sad, mad, happy, scared). Put a poster on the wall with different emojis and work together to expand her emotional vocabulary. Make sure you model using vulnerable emotions like “I feel disappointed” or “I feel embarrassed”. Notice what your daughter is feeling and say out loud, “You feel excited” or “You feel defeated”. 
  2. Role play with her. Use her dolls or lego people to work out common disagreements. Show how sad the doll is when she hears she won’t be invited to her birthday party.  Make a rule that they aren’t allowed to say “You can’t be my friend anymore”. Instead, teach them to say, “I’m feeling frustrated” or “I’m sad and need a break”. Model how to take deep breaths, apologize and forgive.
  3. Teach the girls how to have a conflict. It is not only normal, but important for kids to learn how to have conflict. Playing with other kids is the perfect opportunity to teach them how to compromise when you don’t get your way. When it gets heated, point out what you are seeing and hearing: “It sounds like Sophia wants to play with the kitchen, and you want her to play dress up. I’m sure you will figure out a compromise.” Or “It sounds like Julia would like to play by herself for a while.”
  4. Help your daughter understand herself. Make comments like, “I see your fists clench and you hold your breath when your friend isn’t playing the way you want her to.”  “I notice you really like to be in charge but Emma also likes to be in charge. Is it hard when you both like to be the boss? “Which of your friends appreciates it when you take charge and is happy to follow along with your ideas?” 

Life Coaching Answer:

What gets in our way from helping our children learn to resolve conflict? Our inner people pleasers. 

So many Supermoms get stuck thinking that good friends never fight or say mean things. When you hear that YOUR DAUGHTER is emotionally blackmailing other girls, withholding friendship and birthday parties, we get embarrassed! Moms often think this is TERRIBLE because we view our child’s behavior as a reflection of ourselves and our parenting. 

When our child is flourishing academically, socially, physically, we feel like successful moms. We relax and feel satisfied in our job as parents. But as soon as there is a problem, we blame ourselves. It’s just SO EASY to think, “I’m not doing it right” or “I should have done better”.

If this motivated us to take productive action, it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem comes because thinking, “I’m not doing it right” or “I should have done better” makes us feel inadequate and embarrassed. When we feel this way, we blame. We get mad at our kids, ourselves, we avoid conflict, we stop inviting kids over. We try and get our kids to behave so that we don’t have to feel like lousy parents. When we are avoiding our own negative emotions, we aren’t going to be teaching effective conflict resolution skills.

In order to follow the parent educator advice of patiently observing, modeling and teaching kids that it’s ok to have a conflict, your ego can’t be involved. This kind of teaching requires a mom to feel calm and confident. Can you imagine there is another mom out there in the world, raising a bossy 5 year old who withholds friendship and parties, that you think is a really good mom? Create that image in your mind. How does that mom talk to her daughter? How does she talk to other moms about the kid conflicts? 

It is totally possible to be a good mom and have a bossy daughter. 

Supermom Kryptonite: Downplaying awesomeness

Do you struggle to accept a compliment? Do you downplay your achievements and deflect praise when it comes your way? How are you at receiving and appreciating gifts? If you have a pattern of dodging positivity, you may subconsciously be draining your energy. 

The reason some people get uncomfortable with compliments and positive attention, is that it doesn’t match what we say to ourselves inside our own head. We spend all day thinking, “I’m not doing enough” or “I’m failing as a mom”. We can’t wrap our brains around someone contradicting our inner dialogue.

When we attach our ego to our children’s behavior, it means we struggle to accept praise about our children, too. It’s more comfortable to throw our kids under the bus sayin, “I’m sorry my daughter is so bossy” or “My daughter should be nicer.” 

We don’t want to brag about our kids so we err on the side of humility, which sometimes turns into pointing out children’s flaws.

There is a difference between bragging and being proud of your children. Bragging means, “My kid is better than your kid.” Pride means, “I think my kid is amazing, and I don’t take credit. I think your kid is amazing, too.” There is plenty of awesomeness to go around. No need to minimize, deflect or downplay. We are all moms in the trenches, parenting perfectly imperfect children, all of us worthy of praise.

 

Supermom Power Boost – Consider Banning Bossy

There is a movement to ban the word bossy when describing a girl’s personality. Popularized by Sheryl Sandburg and supported by Beyonce, Condoleeza Rice and the Girl Scouts of America, this movement says that bossy undermines female leadership. Boys aren’t called bossy, they are called strong leaders. 

Support girls leadership by banning the word bossy from your vocabulary. I want to live in a world where girls who are strong willed, powerful leaders, feel proud and confident to show this side of themselves without a negative social backlash. 

Teach your daughter to be an effective leader. Join the movement, buy t-shirts and tote bags, by going to http://banbossy.com/

Quote of the Day:

“Let me take a minute to say that I love bossy women. Some people hate the word, and I understand how “bossy” can seem like a shitty way to describe a woman with a determined point of view, but for me, a bossy woman is someone to search out and celebrate. A bossy woman is someone who cares and commits and is a natural leader.” ― Amy Poehler

 

Entertaining a young child so mom can work from home

Coaching Call – How to entertain a young child so mom can get work done?

Episode #58

Listen in as I coach a mom trying to keep her 5 year old entertained while she works from home.

Question of the Day:

Today’s Question comes from Carola Fuertes. Carola is a weight loss coach looking for parenting help for her 5 year old son. If you are ready for a compassionate approach to weight loss contact her at www.CarolaFuertes.com or www.naturalweightcoach.com

“My husband and I both work from home and our five year old is out of school for the summer. He is reckless, climbing up on counters, finding things that we’ve hidden, dangerous things like medications. For his own safety, I need him to stop getting into everything but he won’t listen to me. 

I explain to him why I have boundaries and he doesn’t listen to me or my rules. I like that he cares about what he wants and goes after it, but for safety reasons, we need him to obey. I can’t seem to make him do what I say. I feel powerless, frustrated and defeated. Sometimes it feels like he’s doing it to spite me which makes me mad. I might yell, throw a fit, put him in time out, but then I’m parenting in a way I don’t like.”

How can I stop my son’s reckless behavior without yelling?