Summertime often means more free time, especially for kids. And with that extra free time can come new explorations of exactly where the boundaries are that parents have done their best to outline.
When boundaries are pushed or broken, things can get tense, even angry. What’s a parent to do? How can we best deal with these moments when things go awry while still maintaining healthy parent-child relations and keeping our own sanity and well-being in focus? (Whew! That’s a lot!)
I’ve found that mindfulness is an incredibly effective tool to help parents get rid of toxic emotions and start feeling better.
Your child’s misdeeds do not figure into this equation; you are taking care of you. The outrage and fear that you are potentially feeling after a big screwup by one of your kids festers inside; and if you don’t let it out, it turns into a monster.
Some parents let it out by screaming at their kids; but that doesn’t work, and it usually causes more anger and shame. Other parents disconnect to try to avoid the pain, or they numb the pain; but that doesn’t work either, and it adds the pain of disconnection to all the other pain.
If you can morph those bad feelings into good feelings, or at least into light and neutral feelings, you will be doing your body a world of good.
The Receiving-Sending Meditation is perfect for this effort.
Some smart person said that anger corrodes the vessel that contains it.
You are that vessel. Keep your vessel intact this summer and beyond by giving yourself a daily mindfulness break.