How can we empower ourselves in the midst of the overwhelm that sometimes leads us to question our worth as a parent? Empowerment is defined as "people having power and control over their lives." How do we control our children to make the best decisions? Empowerment has nothing to do with controlling our children. It is the wisdom to trust in our children's journey. It is taking the time to find resources and support to guide you through the chaotic challenges that arise throughout your journey as parents. It sometimes involves letting go of what we cannot control to maintain peace and save our sanity.
Parent Empowerment is a necessity in our forever-changing new normal. Without it, our parenting journey will feel like climbing Mt. Everest in rubber slippers wearing a swimsuit. Many of us who lack empowerment often wonder if we will survive. Here are the top 5 must-do tips to create a strong parent mentality:
- Instill healthy habits. Rituals are extremely vital. Practice meditating daily before you get out of bed and before you enter Dreamland. We all spend time sitting on the toilet, doing laundry, getting dressed, and eating meals which are perfect opportunities to deep breathe. When you deep breathe, you are sending messages to your brain to calm down.
- Heal with humor. Laughter heals and gives perspective. You aren't going through struggles, you are growing through your challenges. When you find a way to laugh through the rough times, your mind will thank you for it. "Laughter is the best medicine" is not just a silly quote. Humor can bring hope, reduce stress, and emotionally connect you to others.
- Carve out time for mini moments of happiness. Snack on your favorite treat. Watch that hilarious TikTok or read inspirational quotes to tickle your soul. Happiness can consist of simple pleasures.
- Create emotional boundaries. As parents, we are taught the importance of setting boundaries and expectations for children. We make it a priority to help them build life skills that include patience, problem-solving, resourcefulness, responsibility, and self-discipline. However, I believe that if we do not create emotional boundaries, we will engage in unhealthy conversations, struggle with protecting our personal space, and suffer from guilt when we see our children upset after we carry out much-needed discipline.
- Acknowledge your emotions. Many children are taught not to express negative emotions. "Don't cry!" "You're being overly dramatic" or "Why don't you just do what I say instead of arguing?" As parents, we struggle with being compassionate and sometimes end up criticizing our kids, especially when our buttons are pushed. If we learn how to understand emotions in ourselves and our children, we will be able to regulate our own responses to strong emotions. Learn to identify and label emotions, and approach your emotions with curiosity.
These 5 tips, instilling healthy habits, practicing humor, carving mini moments of happiness, and acknowledging our emotions are crucial to parent empowerment. As parents feel empowered and teach their kids how to be empowered, parenting will be less painful and more peaceful. I invite you to at least incorporate one of these tips this week.