There is a reason why airplane safety requires parents to put on their oxygen masks first and then attend to their child. It’s because you can’t be expected to take care of your child, if you're not healthy first.
I love inspirational quotes. You can meditate to them, make them your mantra, write them out or even scream them in your car when you need a little privacy. They help keep me focused, determined and energized with positivity. Find one that resonates with you and inspires you to be the best parent possible. We need to stay happy and healthy for them so they too can be those things. So, let's start showing them how.
One of my favourites: "You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." — A. A. Milne
Self doubt is the worst! When that little voice inside my head tells me, “No, you can’t, you won’t, just stop now!” I have to remind myself of this quote. When I hear my pesky inner voice trying to resurrect itself from the dead, I have to say, “Thanks, but we’re all good here!” I don’t have space in my head anymore for negativity; I will move forward, I will get through this, I will give it my all. That inner voice that has been following you around your entire life must be defeated today. That voice can no longer run your life.
Think about who you are and remind yourself of it every day. Maybe even write it down on a mirror or on a Post-It for the fridge - somewhere you will see it often. Then, remind yourself of why those things are true. Prove it to yourself! Your inner voice won't have a chance to stand up to you. You’ve defeated it before it had a chance.
I also like doing this with kids. It helps to get a better understanding of who they think they are. Even more so, what they think they’re not! Have them run through the same exercise you did. Who they are and why, should sound like: I am brave because I stood up to a bully. I am strong because I ran a marathon with my parents. Next time they are having a bad day, bring out their work, remind them of their incredible qualities and maybe even add new examples. Help them to stand up to that inner voice that seems to lurk around even more when we’re down in the dumps.
If you know your little one is hurting because they don’t think they're smart enough (or any other quality they think they lack), think of a word they’ve maybe never heard before like innovative, so they can’t dispute it when you tell them. Tell them they are innovative and then explain why! The “Why they are innovative” is more important than “that they are innovative.” It won’t matter if they are innovative if there is no proof. Hopefully, you child listens to a few of the reasons so that they can’t disagree and they can start to see how smart they are in different ways.
You can help to rewrite those stories children tell themselves, but I believe we have to be able to do that for ourselves first. Kids are inquisitive and will want to know more. Kids will get a kick out of their parent(s) doing homework too and would want to be part of it, to be just like you. Show them a YOU that you're proud of.
STAY HEALTHY & HAPPY!
Co-Founder of Witz & Marbles Inc.
*Written by a non-wicked step mom, a madly loving girlfriend, a fiercely loyal friend and a passionate teacher.*