This morning, my daughter had a breakdown because she had trouble making her bed. She was able to muster out a, “Mommy, will you please come help me?” She was in tears,and barely holding on. When I went upstairs, I found her angrily trying to fix the sheets.
I took a deep breath, bracing myself for her anger and emotion. And then I asked her to stop so I could help her with her feelings before I could help her with her bed. I helped her identify what she was feeling, and why, and validated her feelings by telling her that it was okay to feel that way. I told her that even adults find themselves in the same position as we experience life. As I spoke to her, it was clear that she wasn’t understanding the point—she was too focused on the unmade bed. So, I helped her make the bed and tried again. But as I talked to her, trying to teach her in a way that she could receive the message, it dawned on me that maybe there are others that could use this reminder today.
So here’s what I suggest when navigating a situation that’s hard:
1. Make sure you’re in a mental place to be able to solve the problem. This means you’re fed, rested, whatever. If you’re anything but calm, STOP. Forcing a solution in this mindset won’t yield fruitful long-term results. Unless someone is in real danger then and there, walk away until you can wrap your head around what’s going on.
2. Assuming you’re untriggered and able to think clearly, I like using a trick I learned from “The Perfect Parent” by Roma Khetarpal. Identify your feeling, why you’re feeling it, and then validate it. In this case, my daughter felt frustrated. Why? Because she knows how to make her bed and it just wasn’t happening for her today. The validation? Sometimes, some things are just harder than on other days. It’s understandable that she feels the way she does.
3. Now, you can solve your problem. If that means trying again, great. If it means walking away to rethink it, great. Need help from another person? THAT’S OK TOO. *See comments for the rest*
#mindfulmama #mindfulparenting #mindfulliving #problemsolving #lifelessons