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Welcome back to The Unconditional Love Challenge. For those of you just joining me here is a little background on what this challenge is all about: Inspired by Dr. Laura at Aha Parenting, I have created The Unconditional Love Challenge. This is a 10 part challenge based on Dr. Laura's series on Ten Steps to Unconditional Love. I will be posting challenges and results on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month giving you two weeks to tackle each step. You can work as quickly or as slowly as needed.
Got it? Good!
Last week I issued a challenged surrounding unconditional love as it relates to you and your child(ren). The challenge last week could have gone one of two ways. You could either commit to continuing to love your child unconditionally and take the steps to ground yourself in this commitment OR you could start at the beginning and rebuild that unconditional love you once had, should you realize that you have in fact lost it. Which did you do and how did it go?
I love Tiny unconditionally. Period. This has never wavered. Sure, she might drive me bat shit crazy sometimes but that is because she is developing and coming into her own personhood. She is pushing limits, testing boundaries, and trying to figure life out. I might not like how she is acting but there is ALWAYS a reason for it and usually something that I can help her work through.
So for me, this challenge was focused on committing to continue to love Tiny unconditionally – no matter what. As a conscious, mindful, natural parent I see no other way.
On to Challenge # 7 – Commit To Parenting With Love, Not Anger.
As always, you can read Dr. Laura's original post here.
From Dr. Laura: All humans get angry. All parents get angry at their children. And we don't feel very loving at those moments. Healing our ability to love unconditionally means committing to parenting from love, not anger. Instead of unloading your anger on this small person entrusted to your care and guidance, can you teach yourself to take a deep breath and a few minutes to calm yourself?
I have written extensively on anger in parenting on my blog. Here are five must read posts if you are going to continue with this week's challenge:
- The Angry Parent Phenomenon
- Anger In Parenting – Consider the Impact
- Anger in Parenting – Ways of Reconnecting
- Anger in Parenting – Addressing Your Anger
- Unrealistic Expectations as Parental Anger Triggers
I will make things simple this week. Create a list of “triggers.” Take a good, deep look inside yourself when you feel your anger boiling over at your child. Then write down what triggered this reaction. Was it really something your child said or did or were you already upset about something and your child's actions or words served as the catalyst for the anger to flow forth?
After you have a list of triggers, create an action plan. Brainstorm ways in which you can bring yourself back to center to avoid a blow up at your child. Perhaps it is as simple as some deep breaths. Maybe you need to walk away and take a short break for the situation. Maybe you need to just tell your child that you are getting angry and it has nothing to do with them and that you need to growl to feel better. Maybe you can include your child in your release process by going for a walk or getting outside to play and let off the negative energy. Maybe you need to jot some thoughts down on paper. Whatever the case, create a realistic plan to help diffuse your anger when you feel it rising.
See you back here in two weeks! Until then…good luck. This is a very important challenge.