Ep 72: Learning to Respond vs React to Your Kids with Elizabeth Andreyevskiy (an honest conversation about anger & motherhood) – Meant To Bloom
Elizabeth is a wife from Minnesota, the mother of 4 (3 boys and new baby girl) and it is her mission to help moms support themselves and overcome the burnout and find themselves.
Motherhood can be draining, no one expects you to have it all together. Through therapy, Elizabeth entered the world of gentle parenting with the goal of respect for your children. This is very different from the style of parenting her and I both grew up with – the spanking, the threatening of discipline, etc.
We don’t have to raise our voice to get our kids to listen. (no, really).
Products mentioned in episode:
**The Miracle Morning (book) by Hal Elrod.**
Getting your needs met is the first step to being patient with those around you. When you’re well rested, hydrated, and fed, it creates the environment you need to be in to remain calm.
Controlling your anger towards your kids.
Seeing how our kids are behaving and paying attention to the way they are processing the world around them – building a connection and relationship with them will help you to better communicate with your child in a way they listen better. Kids don’t hear you when you yell, all they process is that they are being yelled at. I’ve recently started Play Therapy with my 5 year old so we can get to understand his brain and thoughts to better communicate with him in the way he needs it. It’s okay to get help where needed – I’m not a childhood development expert, and here I am in charge of my child’s development.
Learning to respond vs reacting: reacting is our first instinct, it’s the impulse to be frustrated and to yell when we don’t get our way. Responding is taking the time to consider where the other person is at.
How do we make the shift from reacting to responding?
- Be aware. What situations are triggering for you and what’s the reaction you’re having?
- Proactively meet your needs. Sleep deprivation and skipping meals make us more reactive.
- Create a plan. Know ahead of time what you will do instead of yelling, etc. (example, when you want to yell, take a deep breath first). Rachel Bailey (child psychologist) – use a when/then statement. When THIS happens, then I will do THAT. When I want to yell, then I will walk away and visualize a calm place.
Self care is the key here.
When we aren’t caring for our basic needs, the part of our brain that makes decisions and processes our thoughts gets shut down. If we want to keep our brains working from a logical place rather than an emotional place, we have to be proactive in caring for our own basic needs first. It takes energy from your brain to emotionally regulate.
“Sometimes it’s not a spiritual problem, sometimes you just need some sleep and a meal to eat.”
How can we re-center throughout the day?
When the frustration and agitation build up – be aware of what’s happening. Communicate that you need a break – this teaches our kids to do the same. It’s important to step away and process your stress and emotions to remain calm – it’s better than bending till you break.
When you take a break, avoid distracting yourself. This won’t actually calm your nervous system down at all.
Have a plan for calming yourself
- Remove yourself from the stress.
- Choose what works for you: lay down and eliminate extra noises, visualize a calm place, splash water on your face, listen to meditation music, use mantra/affirmations.
- Deep breathing. This sends oxygen back to your thinking brain.
Affirmations ideas for you:
“Breathe in calm, Breathe out stress.”
“I am patient, I am kind”
“I am a loving mother”
“This is what it is, I don’t like it, but it’s not forever”
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Schedule a free Stress Management Call with Elizabeth.
“If you’ve snapped at your kids, it’s not because you’re a bad mom… it’s just because you’re struggling and you need a little extra support.. at the end of the day, I want you to say to yourself ‘I’m a good mom, who had a bad day.'” – Elizabeth.