"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory bank of our children."
I read that quote from Charles R. Swindoll and it really make me think.
We are hit with it all day long.
From newspapers, TV, to social media, to pop up screens, road signs, car decals, to emails and newsletters.
We are all being persuaded how to FEEL.
We've all experienced unshakeable feelings. Good and bad.
We remember that first kiss with our lover.
That first embrace when we smelled and touched our babies.
Where we were exactly, on 9/11, when the planes crashed, and the the unthinkable feelings and panic in the room.
As parents we focus so much on what we SAY to our kids.
We tell them about manners, friends, ambitions, winning and losing, how babies are made, and why they can't have ice cream for breakfast.
But do we ever stop to think about the messaging that we emit?
Sometimes the most powerful examples are seen and felt, not spoken or heard.
And as parents we have a tough job modeling behavior to combat what's seen in the media.
Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle found that for every hour of TV 4-year-olds watched daily, their risk of becoming bullies at ages 6 to 11 increased by 6% to 9%
And let's be honest.
Some day we lose our SHIT.
According to Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., director of the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT.
"People tend to be more stressed out and have shorter fuses than in the past, triggering public displays of aggressiveness. Kids are witnessing road rage and watching on TV as sports fans attack players and vice versa."
So how do we check ourselves? How do we stay balanced?
How do we emit a positive message?
M- ME TIME-- A stressed out, overworked parent is not a happy parent. You have to find an outlet, preferably a healthy one. You have to get a hobby. Some of my favorites are exercise, scrap-booking and reading.
I've simply started communicating what I need to my husband and it's give and take. I get up early to exercise. I take an hour on the weekends to read or craft.
Don't let your excuses hold you back from your self care.
E- EXERCISE-- Just 15 minutes a day improves mood, sleep, posture, thinking, reasoning, productivity, and health. It's a no-brainier. DO IT. (If you need workouts click here.)
S- SPEAK KINDLY-- You may want to trash talk your spouse, your boss, your mother in-law or the annoying parent at the park, but don't do it. Not in front of your kids.
Don't place that extra responsibility or weight on your kids shoulders to process how you feel about crazy Aunt Jane. I like to say, "I'm working through a challenge right now" and leave it at that!
S- SET GOALS-- But more importantly, share them with your family. My son may not have fully understood at one and a half that I was training for a 5k, but he loved being pushed in the running stroller as I trained.
My son might not fully understand what he's doing at a TV station, but he can feel the excitement in our voices when we talk about my segment and he and his dad watch from the green room.
A- ANALYZE TRIGGERS-- We all know who or what pushes our buttons. Do you have a strategy to prepare? Before I head into rush hour traffic or pick up a phone call from my mom, I meditate. One minute. Deep breathing. Positive mental talk.
G- GAUGE YOUR ENERGY-- A stressed out, overworked, TIRED parent is going to blow a gasket. Or feed the kids ice cream for breakfast. We can't cope and make decisions when we are tired. Power down. Get to bed! Take a nap. It's that simple. Don't let your excuses tell you that you can't.
E- EXPRESS YOURSELF AUTHENTICALLY-- There is nothing more powerful that showing up in your life authentically YOU. Be the silly parent. Jump on the bed. Let them make messes. Tell them your favorite stories. Include them in your hobbies. Dress the way you want. Get tattoos. Just be YOU!
Isn't that the best message we can give our kids?
Be yourself- everyone else is taken.
Take care of yourself, and the rest will take care of itself.
*Need help- email me at lisa @lisapezik.com*