“As children develop, their brains “mirror” their parent’s brain. In other words, the parent’s own growth and development, or lack of those, impact the child’s brain. As parents become more aware and emotionally healthy, their children reap the rewards and move towards health as well.”
Dr. Daniel J. Siege, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and executive director of the Mindsight Institute.
Let’s be real for a moment. There are days when you want to throw in the towel and scream “enough!” There too much noise, too much to do, and too much pressure that it all feels… too much. I feel that. I’ve been there right on the kitchen floor with you many times and probably will be many more times to come.
And that is okay. It shows you are human, and we are more open to talk about mental health issues nowadays then what we were even five years ago.
Parenting is the most important job in the world, and it is also the hardest. Who your child becomes is dictated by how you raise them and what lessons you teach them. No pressure, right? And while people are quick to jump in with their advice for how to raise children, there’s not a lot of advice given on how to maintain your mental & emotional health while you have to juggle everything.
The important thing you need to remember is that you don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be okay. It is universally known and proven that children will copy anything you do including irreverent or silly little actions. It is called ‘over imitation’ and is basically the scientific word for monkey see, monkey do. Not great news for that accidental swear word that suddenly pops up when your mother in law is visiting but great news for creating another generation of ‘dad dancers’. If children are happy to mimic your actions, what’s to say they don’t mimic our mental & emotional health? As Daniel Siege stated, their brains mirror their parent’s brains. If our mental health is okay, in theory so will theirs.
Okay, so it may seem a little impossible at the moment with COVID19 and the stresses of home schooling or school holidays, and our inability to spend time with extended family and friends. It is not exactly a calm environment to help lessen stress, but it can be the perfect time to re-focus on your own mental health. It is a lot easier to understand how to help your children navigate their emotions and fears when you understand yours.
To learn is to grow after all.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your inner emotions in positive ways to help relieve stress, communicate effectively and overcome challenges while learning to empathise with others and diffuse conflicts. And ParentalEQ’s Parenting BackPack App helps with all that and more.
Take it from someone who uses their strategies on a near daily basis for myself and my children, having a quick little app that covers everything to help you is perfect. Their quick audio files are great for those hidden moments in the bathroom. The activities that cover breathing to fighting your fears, to recognising physical manifestations of anxiety has been an eye opener and a life saver. And it is something that I can do alone and when I feel comfortable enough knowing as much as I can about it, I share it with my children in the form of a game or a conversation. My mind is a lot quieter than what it used to be, and the house has a calmer feel.
Don’t get me wrong, stresses are still high, kids can still get a little too much and the kitchen floor is still a close friend, but it is easier now to recognise triggers for myself and my children and I know how to defuse the situation or help them through it.
Take a moment to remember that you are important as well. Take a moment for your emotional health. Take a moment for you.
scribed with calm & chaos by Casey Luxford