As we try to achieve gentle parenting, here are three traits to be a calm parent.
Gentle parenting isn’t as easy as it sounds especially when many of us grew up in louder environments. Oftentimes, discipline took in the form of yelling, screaming, gaslighting, and beating. But gentle parenting is the complete opposite—demanding almost complete mastery over our emotions and our minds. Establishing that calmness as parents isn’t easy—which is why these are three traits we need to build up first before getting into gentle parenting.
Avoiding Emotional Displacement
Emotional Displacement is a kind of stress relief where we take out our negative emotions on something. Unfortunately, most parents feel they don’t have the avenue for it—causing a build-up and then the inevitable explosion. We call this weight “mental load”. We’re constantly thinking of how to fix the house and make everyone comfortable that any thought of stopping is either brushed aside or considered ridiculous.
However, taking our frustration out on our kids terrifies both us and the kids. We’re left with the aftermath that our kids are confused and scared—wondering why we’re so angry at them for asking a question. Whereas, we’re terrified of losing control. Whether it’s through Google Calendar or other apps, having a device or something remind us to have time for ourselves can help us easily process our emotions instead of going on until we’re out of steam.
Recognizing our triggers
Triggers are usually in the form of events or statements that bring back bad memories. Something like our child’s messy room can make us recall how our parents may have yelled at us until the roof came down all because the mirror was tilted the wrong way. However, it takes time to recognize these triggers. It also needs conscious effort in seeking these out. While it feels selfish at first to do so, doing this can help calm parents down and encourage them to be more communicative with their kids. All the advice about being able to process things with our kids requires knowing what our triggers are first.
Perfectionism can be helpful in the workplace. But it’s not helpful at home! Forcing perfectionism at home creates an environment where people feel they’re walking on eggshells. Calm parents recognize their inability to be perfect because they know they’re learning and are human. Allowing ourselves the grace of failing (even if we didn’t have that growing up) will make us more open to becoming better parents that our kids want and need.
Achieving the zen and calm in parenting
Being a calm parent takes time and this doesn’t mean losing your privilege to be angry. On the contrary, it’s recognizing that we are angry but we’re finding a better way to handle it. In a world where it sometimes demands more than 24 hours of our day, we forget that we have control over what to do with that time. No one else can demand it from us—especially when we’re trying to calm ourselves to become better parents to our kids.
More about Gentle Parenting? Read these:
ICYMI: Gentle Parenting with Andi Manzano-Reyes and Gretchen Gatan Fragada
Filipino Tradition and Gentle Parenting According to a Child Development Coach
Gentle Parenting: 3 Moms Share Why They Prefer This Parenting Style