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positive-parenting1We are almost to the end of our series and it is my hope that it has given you some great food for thought and reflection!

My goal in presenting these posts to you has been to inspire you to become more mindful when communicating with your little ones.

It would defeat the purpose of this series if you have become inspired to communicate more effectively only to become even more overwhelmed by feelings of guilt when you slip back to yelling.

Day 11

Be accountable but don’t beat yourself up with guilt when you make mistakes.

The big reason I don’t want you to feel guilty is because moms who are riddled with guilt become more permissive as parents.

Permissive parenting leads to the creation of demanding, willful, oppositional children.  Stop the cycle by truly forgiving yourself.  Forgiveness takes place in three steps, which I call the ‘three R’s of forgiveness.’

First, recognize and accept your feelings. Tell yourself, ‘I feel angry and anxious, and that’s okay.’

Second, reframe the experience. Forget about finding a good guy and a villain.  Admit that, given your state of mind, you did your best and so did your child.

Third, request help. Calmly ask your child to work with you in forging new patterns of behavior.  Here is an example of what you might say:  ‘Last night at bedtime, I screamed at you and spanked you.  I did those things because I lost control, not because you are bad.  Sometimes I think you want to be my boss.  I am your mother and I am in charge.  I am going to be a better parent.  I am going to work on expressing anger differently – with words spoken firmly'” (Becky Bailey, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline).

You’ll never be the perfect mother. Your child won’t ever be the perfect child.  Mistakes allow us the opportunity to grow.  Shedding the guilt around making mistakes, forgiving yourself of your transgressions, and making a concerted effort toward mindful communication are all steps in the right direction to becoming more of the mom you want to be.