Putting my own oxygen mask on

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I haven’t blogged for a while – it’s been a really busy few days. But I’ve missed it. I feel I have so much I need to write about to help me process things:

I did module 3 of Triple P Online last week – it was really great. I felt like there was some stuff in there that really made me think and I felt we were really getting to the nitty gritty of what this stuff is about and helping me learn new skills and techniques (even though I’ve been doing this for 13 years – I still feel in need to learn A LOT of new skills and techniques!). It was about ‘teaching opportunities’ – viewing problems the children face as an opportunity to coach them through solving problems while helping teach them new skills. Really loved it and thought it was a great strategy that would really help. Didn’t feel too difficult either – seemed ‘doable’.

Then yesterday (Sunday again – what it is with Sunday’s that seem to be such a disaster lately with their behaviour?). It all went horribly wrong. Perfect opportunity to teach them some stuff. So what did I do? Go lie on my bed and cry, not even look them in the eye. Not tell them I loved them. Not tell them I’m cross at their behaviour. Just escaped from it all, went to lie on my bed and closed my eyes (maybe hoping it would all go away?). Even then I was thinking to myself, I need to do something – I need to use what I know to help them. But for some reason, I reacted so emotionally myself, that there was no way I could calm myself enough to help them – I would have either cried or shouted (or both) if I tried to help them.

So this comes back to the oxygen mask advice on a plane. You have to put your own on before you can help others with theirs. I couldn’t even bloody find my oxygen mask yesterday. Nowhere to be seen. No idea where to even look for it. I was just tired. Tired of the same struggles with the children and with myself. Tired of reacting so strongly emotionally to everything and unable to control my own emotions enough to deal with situations. To help them.

So what happened? Hubby came home in the midst of it all – called up to me to ask me what I was doing – “looking for a curry recipe” I replied (I wasn’t clearly – no idea where that came from!) – “do you know what’s happening with the girls”…… “yes.”…… “do you want me to deal with it?”…….. “yes please if you can”.

I listened to him patiently talking to each of them (together) about what had happened. He was clearly feeling as emotional as I was, but somehow managed to use that in a positive rather than a negative way to talk to them about how disappointed he was, how they put themselves at risk, asking questions to understand what had really happened.

Of course one of them then reacted totally over-emotionally, shouted and screamed and stormed off (I have no idea where she gets that from at all!). However, he helped things. He took control and he did something positive. I just gave up and ‘ran away’ from the situation.

I must make time to tell him how grateful I am and how proud I am. I must remember that his parenting skills are just as good as mine (I’m so guilty of thinking that he hasn’t got a clue and I know better). I must also find a way to put my own oxygen mask on first and get myself to a place where I can actually use the new skills I’m learning through this parenting course.

So much to do. However, a day at a time. I will get there. I’m bloody determined!

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