The toddler having a whiny or
clingy day, or week, or month; The preschooler happily exploring with
paint - and leaving a trail of mess behind; The dishes piling high for
days and whatever you do, it seems it gets only worse?
you normally react? And how else could you respond?
do you make lemonade?
key to that space between stimulus and response
For me at
the moment the key
to this space seems to be frustration. That's where
this space is
needed the most yet tends to disappear. And it's also a strong emotion
that's easy to recognize. I like to deal with frustration by using it
as a stop sign.
could this quote help with the challenges described above?
Just picture this:
often an irritating situation makes me react in a way that I regret
it doesn't have to be like that. In each of those arrows lies a space.
I don't need to
respond with frustration to things going wrong. And the
doesn't need to lead to impatience
or even anger. I do have a choice.
accurately: In a situation
going pear shaped there are several moments where we do have a choice,
and each of them offers a chance of growth and freedom.
What an empowering thought is that!!!
I do need more time to actually use that space.
Create a Pause
between Stimulus and Response
need is a long enough pause in that space. Luckily there are several
ways to accomplish just that and to extend that pause long
enough to find a positive response. One that helps me
grow into a more positive way of parenting.
favourite ways to create this inspiring and enabling pause are:
a deep breath and letting it go sloooooowly
the situation for a short while if possible
praying (not nesessarily in a religious sense)
to find the best possible solution or thought in the time
combining this with: creating the feeling of confidence inside me that
this will happen
and that it will be truly better than any automatic reaction
And then look out for at
least one alternative
response and choose
the better of
the two. Practicing this is what gives "response ability"
in it's true
are baby steps that will over time lead to a much more positive way of
responding. Celebrate them. Be proud of your accomplishment. And be
confident, that next time you really can do one little but important
baby step like that again.
To get into the
habit of creating a pause go through the list of possible
ways to pause and choose the 2 or 3 you like the most, then practice.
So if you
end up in a frustrating situation, work down the list. And after a
frustrating situation, instead of allowing any internal replay
of the frustrating events, imagine how the situation could
have turned out if it had been perfect and replay that.
course recognizing frustration and creating a pause are only
the first few steps. To come to a place where it comes naturally to
always respond calmly, even in stressful situations, takes a bit more
preparation. It requires a mind shift from feeling a bit like a victim
(of the situation or whatever) to setting yourself and your kids up for
success and trusting that you'll find a way to manage.