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There are techniques that can be used to overcome some of the pitfalls of parenting that overachievers are likely to encounter, according to Jerilee Claydon, a clinical psychotherapist who treats both children and adults for anxiety.Needless to say, Claydon deals considerably with the stresses of parenting, and she says that overachievers struggle with certain facets of the task.
Conceding that her techniques may seem somewhat unconventional because they do not provide any guidance regarding what your baby or older child should do necessarily, she says they are a means to a coherent rationale, belief and confidence in addition to encouraging you to be an openminded parent who knows when to yield to his or her instinct as opposed to solely listening to one’s child.
“In my experience as a psychotherapist I have learnt that meaning is about the most important thing you can hold onto when mothering, this simple reassuring approach never leaves your side as a tool, not even at 3am.It might sound a little cliché to ask ‘what does it mean to you’ but really what does parenting mean to you?
“Maybe until now you hadn’t given it much thought….without searching for life’s big answers, this simple approach can give you what you need to make parenting feel more manageable.”
Claydon points out that the “meaning” a parent applies to every experience from day to day as well as specifically in response to his or her baby will considerably influence how that parent feels.How you feel now or later will directly affect your child, so the more cognizant you are of that fact, the more effectively you’ll be able to control your emotions and the impact that they have on both you and your child, according to Claydon.
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She outlines three simple “steps to meaning,” as she calls them, that are intended to have a positive affect on the way you parent.She refers to these steps as the FOCUS, the MEANING and the FEELING respectively. “To give you an example lets use the baby waking in the night for a feed.So baby wakes which pulls your attention—The FOCUS—then immediately there is THE MEANING you apply to this; I should be finishing my dinner, I should be watching my movie, I should be in bed, the baby shouldn’t be awake now, from these ‘applied meanings’ you will then react with an emotion having FEELINGS about what is going on.
“You may feel resentful, angry, impatient, maybe even a failure.These feelings determine your state of mind then your mood, and instantaneously you can feel crappy.Or, baby could wake, and the meaning you apply is, it’s normal baby is awake, dinner can wait, my baby is solely dependent on me, everything I do is magnified in their world, soothing my baby is great for the immune system and brain development, I could go and watch the movie but I’m choosing to meet my babies [sic] needs.So how might you feel if you apply this meaning?Good about yourself?Relaxed?Content with your choices?In control?”
Claydon uses this example as an illustration of how to approach the baby in such a way that your disposition can only have a positive effect on the baby.You may not necessarily be in control of the event, but you are able to control your own reaction to it.The majority of parents try to change the circumstance or fight it in some way, which only yields disappointment and frustration, according to Claydon.She explains that, by broadening your emotional awareness, you as a parent can circumnavigate this negative approach.
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“As baby doesn’t have the brain capacity to adapt or learn anything as complex as self soothing (this higher part of the brain required for such complexity isn’t online until two plus) surrendering to babies [sic] needs is not a failure but the willingness to adapt with flexibility and intuition.” In so doing, parents can alter their states of mind, their moods and how they feel—the latter being of utmost importance, according to Claydon.
“Remarkably how you feel can change in an instant, it doesn’t have to take yars in therapy, but you do need to continue to practice new habits to create long lasting positive effects.There is a simple ritual you can start to practice each day, preferably in the morning, not only will it change your state of mind in an instant you can imprint positive lasting effects.”
Your self-care isn’t just a benefit to you because it also poses a huge benefit to your baby.Babies are susceptible to a mother’s disposition such that an attitude can be deemed contagious in a manner of speaking.They feel it in the womb, and they can feel it during those early years when they have yet to develop the parts of their own brain that will give them control over such things, Claydon says.