I have heard from some OBGYNs and several “mommies-to-be” that it is OK for women in the third trimester of pregnancy to have a glass of red wine. I have no idea if there is anything medically relevant to this, but I think the expression was,
“if it helps you to unwind and relax, a glass of wine will not have any effects on the baby.”
O.K. Im not an OBGYN, I am not recommending this, but here is why I think there is something similar to be said about parenting:
What helps you, helps them…usually, and within reason
We have talked before about this several times from several different directions. We make terrible decisions when we are reacting emotionally and when we are stressed by work, family issues or a variety of other things that put us on the edge. We, as parents, are quicker to react to things, use punitive strategies, take kids to timeout when we ourselves actually need the timeout. We make things more than they are. We make things harder on the kids, which makes them less likely to behave well, which continues the cycle.
Now, Im not recommending alcohol consumption as a parenting tool.
What I am saying is, “what helps you, can often help them as well.”
If you need a break, take it. If you can switch off with your spouse, switch. If you can wake up early and be one coffee in before waking the kids, move that alarm time back and have a talk with Mr. Coffee.
Be preventive in the care of yourself so you are better prepared to care for others.
This works in the other direction as well. What is good for them will often be good for you. Present situations when they are most likely to behave successfully, then you can back off and recharge. If the kids are getting really rowdy in the house, take them outside. If the little one is getting into the Christmas tree and the older one is, one by one, taking the ornaments and hiding them throughout the house, play a game with them. If the playroom is getting destroyed, go in with them and instead of saying “CLEAN UP,” simply say, “where does this go?” as you hold up Mr Potatohead’s shoes.
If you need to remove one of the kids to another area of the home, don’t drag them; lift them up and playfully carry them around like an airplane. Make moving to another area fun: take GIANT steps, baby steps, hop, jump, skip. Before you know it, you are in the other room and you didn’t have to threaten or drag them away from the fun. You just created NEW fun.
Think of yourself and where you are emotionally and ask yourself if you need a re-charge or a pause button…don’t make your kids pay for it or their behavior will give you more to be frustrated about.