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Things are looking up!

Posted on: February 14, 2011

I don’t know how noticeable it has been, but I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately. A combination of a number of stressors – being overworked, over tired and generally ‘over’ it all! However, a few things have me looking on the bright side again: Tom has cut back on overtime for a while; we have a holiday to the Gold Coast coming up; I spent much of last weekend out and about without kids, getting my hair done and catching up with my sister; and I read Elizabeth Pantley’s The no-cry discipline solution (which I’ve mentioned before).

I love this book! It was exactly what I needed – I had found myself getting too bogged down in all of the teeny, tiny, little (but somehow massive) dramas that characterise our days, and losing sight of the bigger picture. I was forgetting how to see things from my children’s perspectives, forgetting how to be pro-active instead of just stumbling along behind them, and (a bit too often) forgetting how to keep my cool. After reading the book I feel refreshed and re-energised, and ready to give it another go. Pantley gives the reader a major self-esteem boost in the opening chapters, by pointing out that parents (being human) are not perfect, and nor do they need to be to raise great kids:

“To aim for 100 percent perfection in parenting is an impossible goal. Seventy percent is about as perfect as you can get as a parent. This percentage can result in a happy family. Even with the usual bumps and bad moments, 70 percent will result in children who turn out well.” (p. 15).

I knew that already (no-one is perfect), but I needed reminding. There is also a great chapter on anger management, which was a revelation to me. As Pantley points out, most of us aren’t taught how to deal with our anger appropriately, yet it’s a really important skill, because no matter how hard we try not to, we will get angry with our children from time to time. I am hoping Pantley’s “six steps to staying calm” (p. 188) will help me in the future, although the strategy will take some practice!

So, with a more positive outlook, I am combining some of the strategies outlined in Pantley’s book, with some of those that I learnt at a Triple P parenting course about a year ago (is there something about this time of year that makes me feel like a crappy parent???) I’m hoping we’ll all be a little happier as a result!

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7 Responses to "Things are looking up!"

[…] I am reading The no-cry discipline solution by Elizabeth Pantley. (I’ll talk more about why in another post!) […]

It sounds like a great book Anna. I think I might have to get it too. I definitely need some anger management tips. I found the triple p great, but sometimes feel like an even worse parent when I remember all the stuff I’m supposed to be doing!

I really liked the triple p, too, although I found that some of their suggestions just really didn’t work with my kids (probably due to their ages, and my pre-occupation with a baby). Perhaps I’ll be able to use more of it as they get older. Also, because triple p is mostly geared at preventing misbehaviour by being prepared and having strategies in place, I always get totally stuck when, despite my efforts to prepare, everything goes to shit! This book is quite similar in its philosophy, but it also offers a few suggestions for dealing with those tricky situations, which sometimes a bit more helpful!

Yeah, it does sound great. I so wanted to do that Triple P but when I called they said they didn’t have childcare. Then when they did I was back at work. I don’t think they run it down here.
Hey, I was also going to say in a previous post you said something about finding food ideas. I found the CSIRO Wellbeing Plan for Kids really great for recipes that Raleigh AND Adrian and I can eat. Don’t read the rest of the book. It’s depressing (“Don’t offer your children food when you go grocery shopping. Instead, offer the reward of a trip to the park or other energetic activity.” Great in theory but…!)

Thanks Eliza, I’ll have to check it out. I find it hard to think of interesting things to eat, and almost always fall back on ‘meat and three veg’, only it’s meant to be five veg! Okay, advice noted – I don’t need any guilt trips about bribing them with food at the shops (every time), and not going to the park often enough…

I have just read a book called “the positive pyschology of Buddhism and Yoga” by Marvin Levine. This book has changed my life! It focuses on anger management too and has lots of ways to change your thinking so that anger and other emotions we suffer from don’t exist ie not about suppressing the anger but changing your thinking so you never get there in first place…well thats the long term goal anyway. Maybe give it a try when you have a bit more time (requires a bit of time to meditate over the ideas in it). i am re-reading it again already.

Sounds interesting, Fi. Will have to look into it, thanks.

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