Welcome to the first installment of our weekly expert blog post! Each week you will hear from a different expert, giving their advice, view on current affairs or generally just chatting about the ways of the world.
This week we are hearing from the fantastic Anne Morrison.
Anne’s a qualified life coach, NLP master practitioner and clinical and cognitive behaviour hypnotherapist. This means she can help people with weight, self-esteem, anxiety, depression and stress issues.
The Art of Dealing with Other People’s Children
What is it about children? They pull on our heartstrings and play with our emotions like nothing else. And what is it about other people’s children that can get under our skin so much that we could scream? A quick question, “Do you struggle to handle other people’s children on play dates/birthday parties?” fired out to Twitter revealed some very truthful replies.
One person replied that she had looked after children for years, “2 siblings, a baby, a toddler, 2 more siblings …” but that she had “never felt so bad like with my own niece”
Another had just emerged from what sounds like the play date from hell “tea with junior’s school pal tonight. Rude, badly behaved!” and followed that with “I guess some children are dragged up.”
The media feeds us a colour co-ordinated, rose tinted and Breton striped idyll of children and of parenting. But what if you don’t find dealing with children – especially with other people’s children idyllic? What if your heart sinks every time your child comes out of school and asks “Can so-and-so come for tea?” Adults aren’t the only people who can form toxic friendships, be rude and demanding and it can be hard to keep to your boundaries when the fall-out happens in your own front room.
Keep calm and carry on?
When we feel good, when we’re in a positive frame of mind we are far more able to listen to what we want to do without succumbing to the wails and whines of our children. Problems can arise, however, if the stress of the situation threatens to take control and we find ourselves unable to say no and unable to be properly ‘in loco parentis’ once we arrive home with a car full of added children who we could really do without entertaining and feeding.
How many times have you stood, a plate of hot food in your hand, a forced smile on your face only to hear the words, “I don’t like that!” or “Urgh! Beans!”?
As you try and take a deep breath your stomach and possibly your fists and jaw clench and you fight the temptation to throw the whole lot into the bin and flounce out of the room.
Boundaries and Self-Esteem
Parenting can be overwhelming. From parenting small babies to trying to guide teenagers on the right paths in life, the feelings of responsibility can sometimes threaten to take over your own life. Maintaining a sense of self-esteem, no matter how small it is at first, can be an essential saving grace in the day to day trials and tribulations of caring for a child – whether that child belongs to you or to another person.
Self esteem can come from many things. Taking the time to do something for yourself every once in a while, keeping a list of things that you like about yourself or that people like about you can all help to boost your self worth. Sometimes setting out to do something new can make you feel good about yourself, it might be learning a language or taking up a new hobby. Getting enough sleep and eating well are also important if you want to feel on top of things in your life.
If you can manage to keep small nugget of yourself for yourself you will be equipped to handle the challenges of parenting – and the most chaotic tea date or birthday party that that can throw in your path