In this article I want to share with you why you automatically revert to old patterns of behaviour (such as shouting) when you’re under stress and how you can change that!
For the first seven years of our lives we are absorbing everything around us. The way people speak to, interact with and respond to us and others, their thoughts and beliefs etc.
During this formative period we are gathering the intel that will shape our beliefs and these will run on autopilot throughout our lives, unless we consciously choose to change them at a later time.
So, have a think about the kinds of things you may have learnt or ‘absorbed’ during your first seven years.
When you feel stressed or overwhelmed you probably tend to revert to your ‘autopilot’ reactions (the ones you picked up in early childhood).
These are the times you might hear things coming out of your mouth that sound just like your mother or father, that you NEVER thought you’d say!
If parenting consciously is important to you, and these autopilot reactions or old patterns are something you want to change, it’s imperative that you learn some concrete, practical tools and strategies to replace those old patterns with.
You can’t just wish and hope that they change and then be surprised when the same patterns keep playing out. Be proactive about creating that change.
Practise your new responses as much as possible when you’re calm so that in times of stress or challenging behaviour, you’ll ‘automatically’ know what to do.
There are lots of things you could do to start creating new patterns and responses. Whatever you choose, the key is to practise!
Here’s where I suggest starting:
Meditation. I know I mention it a lot but honestly, this is such a game changer in terms of keeping yourself calm and present, especially in times of stress. So in my opinion if you’re trying to parent consciously this is a non negotiable! There are some options for you to try in my Meditation Shop, but it doesn’t have to be a guided meditation.
At the moment I’m really enjoying a simple practise of bringing awareness to each part of my body from head to toes, before I fall asleep at night. It could simply be taking a few minutes to sit quietly with your eyes closed and noticing what you can hear in your surroundings.
So it doesn’t have to takes hours and can definitely be do-able for busy mothers!
Over time you’ll start bringing the presence from your meditation into all the tasks you do on a daily basis, and into your parenting.
You can also start practising things like setting limits with behaviour and holding space for tantrums at those times when it is a bit more convenient or you have time so that you’re feeling more calm and relaxed.
Don’t attempt these in the early days when you’re under a lot of pressure like when you’re about to leave for work. Practise these techniques until you feel more comfortable and over time, they’ll become you’re new ‘autopilot.’
The key is taking it slowly and being compassionate with yourself on your journey.
You don’t get upset with your children when they fall over while they’re learning to walk right?
You’re learning something new. And you’ll keep practising and it’ll become easier for you over time, when you’ve got those tools and responses you can fall back on.
If you have any questions or would like some support with this, I’d love to hear from you! You can take a look at my online programs or get in touch through my Facebook group and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.