Have you noticed any correlation between your stress level and the way you’re handling the kids?
Triggers and reactions surface when situations feel like they’re out of our control.
You begin feeling unfocused and ready to pounce at any moment.
Then, your sweet child does what all kids do, expresses their emotions loudly or, misbehaves. Instead of being your usual calm self, you unconsciously unload your fear by reacting to the situation and yell at your child.
Have YOU been experiencing any of that?
Of course, you are. You’re human, and that’s a reasonable response at this time. You’ve become emotionally exhausted from remaining in a constant state of fight or flight. You’re pivoting and making adjustments far faster than you’re comfortable with, all while putting on a brave face that hopefully says, “We’ve got this.” You’ve begun to wonder what will happen to the life you knew as normal? And that stress, whether you’re conscious of it or not, is weighing on you and your kids.
Experts say Relax
I’ve said relax, breathe, find something you always wanted to do, and do it. Those are all excellent ideas, and they work. However, those suggestions do little to forge the type of connection between parent and child that will create some emotional credit so you can take a break when you need one.
Essential connections dissolve stress fast. When parents and kids connect, their hearts open. Spending 10 minutes involved in a “specific” essential connection activity brings you both back to the love you have for each other and begins restoring your emotional reserves.
I’m not talking about financial banking. I’m talking about emotional banking. “Banking Time” creates essential connections that allow you to invest time now and withdraw that time when you need a break later.
“Banking Time, developed by Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry School, prescribes that for 10 minutes, three times a week or so, a parent invites their child to spend time in an activity of the child’s choosing and for the child take the lead in that activity while the parent takes a ‘back seat.’
During this 10-minute window, parents are not required to direct the activity in anyway-no asking engaging questions or encouraging praise. They don’t even need to figure out the rules of the game. During Banking Time, you are not trying to teach a skill at all, …rather, your experience of being present for a short period of time can help to center you and your child and strengthen your relationship.”1
Why this works
This concept works because stress and love cannot live in the same space at the same moment. When you focus on your heart and the love you feel for the other person, your biochemistry changes, and you can actually feel the stress leaving your body. Taking a few minutes to relinquish control and let your child lead the play allows you both to return to the now, that calm and peaceful place where stress can’t live unless you refocus on stress, again.
Are YOU experiencing a fearful mind?
This article, 5 Steps to Calm a Fearful Mind, by Christina at Spiritually Aware Parenting, will help.
Stay well, and
Now, go hug your kids.
1. Breen, Audrey. (2020 April 20). How a Ten-Minute ‘Reset’ May Make a Huge Difference for Kids At Home. The University of Virginia, Curry School of Education and Human Development. Retrieved from Tish Jennings, Professor of Education at University of Virginia and https://curry.virginia.edu/news/how-ten-minute-‘reset’-may-make-huge-difference-kids-home?fbclid=IwAR3GK6NLdcqqdI-DioLLT6xo2Q_hHiOdZI9Jfo6oJ6UVkGUhRdJFi4db0C8