Happy belated Mother's Day and early Father's Day!
Parenting is difficult and is one of the most important things we will do. As newborns we come into this world absorbing all that we can to develop our brains and learn how to be whom we become. Our amazing brains soak up everything around us. The next thing we know we are sitting, crawling, riding a bike, and then driving a car.
At the same time, our brains are learning tangible tasks and also learning how to respond to our environment. We learn how to cry to get our bellies full, how to calm ourselves without help, how to handle frustration and not hit our friends, how to be in a loving relationship, and eventually how to be a parent. We are influenced by every interaction we have, by every experience, and most importantly by the people caring for us.
Parenting would be simple if the brains of our children only absorbed the good and positive, our brains also absorb the negative and bad. Our brains soak up all of the information! This is most likely how we have learned some of our bad habits, those things that at times you don’t even decide to do, but happen. Our brains continue to be pliable and as adults we are responsible for our actions. Don’t feel helpless yet! We have the power to change! It often takes time to unlearn bad habits, but research suggests it is not impossible.
So, what can you do to ensure children soak up more good then bad? Simply said, but hard to do! We need to behave the same
way we want our children to behave. We need to send clear messages of what is acceptable without confusion. We cannot hit our children and then get mad at them for hitting. We cannot give them our cell phone to play with then get mad when it gets broke.
We cannot yell and lose our temper and expect that them to be calm and know what to do when they are angry or upset.
If you are guilty of behaving less then optimal, don’t worry you are not alone and it is never too late to try and do things differently. Start by asking, “What is my child learning from this?”, “Would I treat another adult likes this?” If your answer is no then the next time you find yourself responding less then optimal, stop, take a deep breath, and think of how you want to respond.
You will be more likely to make a better decision and respond more positively. Reflect on things that have gone well and bad then ask yourself what was my role? Decide what you will do next time. If you suffer from addictions seek professional help and know that you are not alone. The most important thing to remember is that it is never too late and with practice each time things get better.
For more information about the Oxford County Domestic Violence Task Force, please contact Diane at 364-9908 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call:
Safe Voices: 24 hour-free and confidential helpline at 800-559-2927, www.safevoices,org;
REACH: Sexual Assault Support Center: 800-871-7741, www.reachmaine.org;
Or contact your local police department: 9-1-1 for emergency only.