Parents, in particular, are in a special position. Research has shown that children can sense when their parents are in distress. Upon witnessing a parent in such state, it can be more than just momentarily unsettling for them. Children are like sponges. Our stress level can affect our children’s very makeup, including their risk of mood disorders, addiction, and even some effects like ADHD and Autism.
When we feel a loss of control, we would usually turn to distractions or that we try to overcompensate it by being extra controlling in other areas. In many cases, kids are unfortunately the first outlet. Surely, it can be very difficult to remain calm in trying times like this but let’s not forget about self-control. Here are 3 simple ways on how we can keep our mental health in check so there is no chance for an explosion:
1. Come to terms with it
Instead of trying so hard to suppress the uncomfortable feelings associated with the loss of control, we can acknowledge and accept how we feel.
2. Verbalize it or write it down
Besides speaking openly about it, another way to go about this is to turn to your journal. Embrace your anxious thoughts, write them down, and then give your brain a rest. This will not only bring you back to calmness but also clarity and control.
3. You have a choice!
Re-conceptualize it and re-focus your energy on the things you can control. In light of this, take this opportunity to become more tolerant to the mental and physical pain associated with a loss of control because this won’t be the only time that will happen.
Ultimately, it is alright—and healthy, in fact—for our children to see us cope with stress every once in a while. Most importantly, there needs to be a heart-to-heart talk explaining why we reacted the way we did so that our children would learn from it.