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  • Writer's pictureJessica Johnson

A mom's mindset for challenging times

In our journey of parenting, we will inevitably go through seasons of intensity and extreme challenges and hopefully times where we can catch our breath and feel like we’re in a bit of a rhythm and things have stabilized. When we as parents face these hard seasons, it’s important that we maintain a healthy perspective and avoid negative spiral thinking patterns. These challenges may be the early months and years after adopting your child, it may be times when you are adding a new child to your family, a school transition, or the teenage years.

It's so important for us to be mindful of the thoughts that we are allowing to ruminate inside our brain because these thoughts will become determinates of the state of health or disease in our bodies, and they will affect the way we parent our children.

Here are a few practical mindset shifts we can work on:

1. Gratitude- No matter how hard things get try to find a few things each day that you can be grateful for. Write it in a journal. Speak it out loud to friends and family. This practice is linked to your prefrontal cortex which is the area of the brain where decision making takes place. We want to strengthen the muscles of our prefrontal cortex.

2. Commitment- We are in this for the long haul. I will stretch myself to do things that may feel uncomfortable to me if it will help my child.

3. Reflect on your child’s strengths. It’s so easy to see their shortcomings and find things that need to be corrected but what are their natural strengths and abilities. Do not let your mind wander to a place of resenting your child or ruminating on all their flaws. We have to stay compassionate.

4. Don’t allow your mind to settle in a “stuck place” but step back that to look at some possibilities. What resources do I have available to me? Does your insurance pay for counseling services. What services are available at your child’s school. Who can you trust to leave your kids with so you can get a break?

5. Considering a spiritual perspective. If you are an individual of faith exercising prayer and recognizing a greater power at work in the situation is so helpful. The practice of meditation can be a form of release. By stilling our mind for a period of time we can often gain greater clarity around a particular situation.

No matter what you are facing there is hope! You will make it through this season and come out on the other side stronger.

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