How could it be possible to shift your parenting experience in as little as sixty seconds? Simply by accessing the ability to choose while utilizing your imagination, you can open the door for change in the moment and in your relationship with your child (or yourself).
Preparation: Begin taking whole body pictures when things are going well for you and your family. Notice how your body feels when you are resting, the kids are content or the house is at ease. Take in the experience with all of your senses – touch your child gently, smile, smell the air, listen to the sounds of well-being and see what cooperation looks like.
Scene set up: You are trying to get out the door or into the car and no one seems to want to make this exit as much as you. The kids are arguing or the baby is fussing and doesn’t want to be buckled. You can feel control infiltrating your posture as your breath quickens.
The usual action: Blame, shame, yell or move with an action to force your child(ren) to cooperate. Maybe you sit down and cry (by all means let it through if that helps).
The replacement action: Stop and let the kids know you are going to rest for at least one minute and will not be responding if anyone talks to you. Noticing your breath and body, you tune into the moment and notice what you don’t want. I don’t want to force. Next, you notice what you do want and you start to see it materialize in your mind. Feeling deeply into the presence of your being, the still, restful essence that is available in each moment, you allow your attention to remain on your breath and body as you imagine a harmonious outcome for everyone involved – and you hold this vision for at least sixty seconds. Notice what it feels like, how your body slows down as you rest, how possibilities open for you that you didn’t see before and the space you have to choose your response.
What you’re doing: Choosing to shift your experience through relaxed, focused intention, showing your children that it’s possible to change a situation in as little as sixty seconds and proving to yourself that one minute well spent has the potential to changes lives.
How you can stop yourself from trying this: Buying into the old argument that you do not have enough time, it will just make things worse for you to stop or that imagination is all fine and good except that it can’t help you now. To these thoughts you can reply, “I can choose what I focus on and I choose to contribute to the future purposefully.”
Potential results: You transform a potential blow up into an opportunity for reflection, relaxation, emotional responsibility, positive modeling, and connection.
So… see what you can shift in sixty seconds.
The Sixty Second Shift is part of Navigating Emotions for Parents — an ebook collection of exercises to help parents meet emotions in new ways.
If you are experiencing anger more often than you’d like or find the intensity to be hindering your relationship with your child and/or others around you, here are some additional resources that may help…
- Diffusing Parent Anger – A Raw Letter From Me to You
- S.A.F.E. – A Tool To Feel What You Feel Fully and Safely
- 25 Things I Can Do When I Feel Angry
- Sane Parenting Challenge
- Private Sessions
Image Credit: dachadesig
Are you struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something with you: a story and some hope.