Parenting a child who seemingly can’t follow an instruction to save their life, and shame about one’s own yelling are the two key reasons that parents link in to access me as a Parenting Coach alongside them.
This blog is to talk about how you can use a basic timer to build in Diva-Moments where you ‘just do you’ ….and in doing so shave some of the angst and overwhelm out of those two scenarios.
We can’t give clear instructions that are likely to be followed, or mange to not go into our volcanic yelling if we are constantly running at capacity giving out, giving out and giving OUT to others. We need clearly defined and protected time built into our days to keep our own needs met, our nervous systems in flow, and our expectations of ourselves and those around us realistic.
HOW TO GET THIS MAGIC IN MOTION:
#1 Identify a sit spot you enjoy relaxing in. Maybe it is sitting on a sunny back step, or in a chair that you find particularly comfy, or laying on the floor, or on the back grass talking to your chickens. Somewhere where the lighting is good. And distractions minimal. Out of the high foot traffic areas of the house.
#2 Think of a beverage you love to sip on and clock whether you have it available on-hand, or could do an online order here and now to have a supply magically arrive. Maybe it’s a steaming cup of freshly brewed coffee you can imagine sitting clutching with both hands and using as a powerful sensory reset, or a spicy hot milky chai, or a decadent elderflower syrup in sparkling water with a lime wedge and lots of ice in a glass only you use and keep up high especially for your slow sits, or perhaps it’s your favourite wine in a crystal glass you inherited from your nan. Whatever it is, pay attention to both the bevvie and the vessel you serve it in. This is a time to really deal yourself in and it will serve as a second visual prompt (other than the timer that you will be sitting out) for your family members to see that you are temporarily off-duty, and for you to ritualise your slow-sits so that your body gets to where it starts to relax even just at the pulling down of the mug/glass from where you store it.
#3 Consider what you most miss having protected time for. Maybe it’s to stretch, or mindfully breathe, or journal, or think about something you are grateful for, or to put on a playlist of songs you love, or listen to a whole podcast episode uninterrupted, or to strum your guitar you’ve not had out for years, or rub posh aromatic moisturiser into your hands and feet, or to mindfully colour-in using fancy pencils and one of those adult colouring in books, or just to sit and stare and wonder how long it would take you to grab your swimmers, a sarong and your passport and take an Uber to the airport to duck off to the Maldives on your own for a week. Do the same thing each day or purposerfully change it up. Having this plan to protect the time will mean you will feel more confident about earmarking things that you want to use that precious timeslot for.
#3 Choose a pocket of time each day where you know you would most benefit most from taking a 15min slow-sit. To just do you. To not meet ANYONE else’s needs. Just yours. Doing any of the yummy things you have been hankering for…or felt yourself perk up at the idea of when you read step #3 above.
#4 Pre-communicate to each member of your household that at ABC time of each day you will be unavailable for 15 mins while you take a slow sit in XYZ location. That you will sit the timer near you. And that if anyone needs you across that time they will be able to see on the timer how many minutes left and know when you will be back available. In your explaining this new concept to them, keep them engaged by joking with them that of coarse if there is blood, vomit, fire, smoke or lava you will happily help them. Other than that though, you want to be given space to zen out. Perhaps ask if they would like to be bought a timer to do the same with….and where they want to set as their special sit-spot. It’s awesome what gets modelled when we build this in. And how well it works for us to signal to our children that their needs are important, and so is our faith that they can increasingly handle the problemsolving they will need to do while we are recalibrating.
#5 Take your first slow-sit. Notice what happens, how it feels, the thoughts you have about what taking that time ‘means’. Stay curious rather than judgemental, of yourself and of your family members. It’s your kids job to test boundaries, and yours to hold to them as clearly calmly and kindly as you can manage. If this is new to you everyone will still be learning. Roll with that. I know from working with parents who have taken the time to build this in that it has been gamechanging in terms of how much more easily they then find it to parent the way they intend to rather than the way they kneejerk to when stressed…and also their children’s ability to self-occupy and grow their skills in meeting more of their own needs. Don’t stop at one (even if it went pear-shaped)….keep them going and cement it in as a daily practice.
#6 Tell me how you found this to do! Or even how you found it to read about and consider. I’d love to hear. Seriously. Send me an email or instagram message, or use this link to my calendar www.calendly.com/loveparentingnewcastle to book an intro chat, or a slow cuppa with me at Corner Lane Espresso https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17842547648193360/ early one Monday morning in school term to talk about how else we can work together towards a Parenting Reset www.loveparenting.com.au/parent-coaching to get you feeling more connection and less overwhelm over there.
Alternatively, if cash is light-on for you at the moment, the Love Parenting website has a Free Resources www.loveparenting.com.au/free-resources page. Go your hardest having a look around in there and if you would like a little cheer on and Parenting/Connection Tip each Sunday night as you gear up for a new parenting week join my free newsletter by clicking through here: www.loveparenting.com.au/#subscribe