Friday, February 21, 2014


Lately, my central focus has become helping my 5 year old daughter through intense feelings of sadness due to missing her daddy.  He is currently away working (long term) on several projects out of state.  Days gone:  21; Days until his return:  probably 45 or more...

These past 3 weeks have contained more parenting hell moments than I was prepared for.  She is very expressive of her rage and upset and we are having confrontations daily (except for yesterday, which was so refreshing :)).

When it comes to her anger, I try walking that thin line between allowing and enabling; my focus is on allowing her room to feel and express all of her emotions -- even the negative ones -- while providing containment by not allowing hurtful expression of the upset.  Oh yes, and my first focus is on staying calm while being rattled, sometimes, to the core.

What is helping me deal with this challenge?

Well first of all, I have slipped into yelling and engaging negatively, more than once, in recent days and weeks.  But instead of beating myself up, I am working on transforming what would be guilt into motivation to avoid making those choices again.  I am using those experiences to become more present and aware so that I develop and strengthen my ability to be in control of myself, and minimize complications as I help her navigate the cloudy waters that are stirred up when we encounter emotional storms.  In other words, I am slowing down to become more observant and think through each moment as it presents itself.

I also try to see things from my daughter's vulnerable perspective.  Every experience she has with me contains the potential to do good or do harm and shape her personality and future relationships accordingly.  Perfection of myself is not realistic, but I do hold a picture in my mind of the parent I would like to be, and the clearer I hold that vision, the quicker I can step into that energy and assume that stance.

Lastly, I am taking time to care for myself.  I am going to bed early a couple of nights a week and allowing for some unstructured downtime.  I've made a commitment to a weekly exercise class and am making time to connect with my support system.

Tough times and transitions are going to happen in life, and I am committed to using this experience as an opportunity to develop resilience -- both her's and mine.