A New Way to Manage Parent Stress

I am Lynne Jensen, founder of Balanced Life Solutions and I’d like to talk about both the good and the challenges of being a parent.

As a mom myself, a grandma and a teacher, I have always felt that being around kids has been one of the most rewarding things I can do in my life. Yet it can be a very challenging role. Especially when the stress of everyday life gets in the way. 

Let me tell you a story from my own life. When my daughter Nicole was about 14, we got our first computer. Nicole, who got home from High School early, was expected to handle the task of setting up the internet before I got  home from work. When I got home she hadn’t done it. The first thing I did was call the help desk at my school district, since they were our internet server at the time. Then I turned to my daughter and strongly reprimanded her for not getting the job done. The next day I received a call from the technician at the help desk. He said he was happy to help us but he wanted me to know that I had forgotten to hang up the phone and he heard every word I’d said to my daughter. It was a pretty embarrassing experience for me. 

Thank goodness, my daughter, now grown, no longer even remembers this incident. However, it illustrates what can happen when the demands and frustrations of everyday life cause us to be the person we don’t want to be. 

I want to point out, here, that if you have treated your kids in a way that you later regretted, forgive yourself. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Also, talk to your child. Children are very resilient and very forgiving if you are honest with them. But finding your balance with children is a two step process. 

The first step requires working on yourself. I have a quote on my refrigerator from the Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu. It says, “Mastery of others is strength. Mastery of yourself is true power.” 

Mastering yourself starts with self-awareness. Practicing awareness gives you the power to know when to take a step back and pause. This will give you the ability to return to calm before entering into a new situation. 

The HeartMath Institute is the research-based company whose mission is to bring more heart experiences into the world. They have developed tools, skills and technology that are an integral part of my coaching practice. Their published research tells us that our hearts produce a measurable electro-magnetic field that is a carrier wave of emotions. These emotions are communicated to others around you (1), including your children. 

In other words, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, your children feel that whether you realize it or not. Likewise as you are calm, peaceful, joyous or enthusiastic, this is also communicated and your child responds in kind.Taking the time to pause in the moment of stress is often the hardest part. 

That’s where HeartMath can help. HearthMath coaches listen to you deeply from the heart and support you unconditionally in getting the life you want. You learn new habits of practice with the HeartMath tools to calm the storm that surrounds you. This will enable you to self-regulate your emotions whenever you need to, even in the midst of chaos. As you continue to use the tools, you gain new attitudes, actions and perspectives for your parenting that come right from your own heart. 

Now that you’ve gained a renewed sense of peace, the second step involves working with your children. Children are naturally heart centered and love to work with their hearts. Teaching these techniques to your children in a simple way will teach them new skills to self-regulate their emotions and to find quiet places within where learning is optimal. 

References:

(1) McCraty, R., The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic communications within and between people in Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. P.J. Rosch and M.S. Markov, editors, 2004, Marcel Dekker, New York. P 541-562 https://www.heartmath.org/research/research-library/energetics/energetic-heart-bioelectromagnetic-communication-within-and-between-people/