Self-Compassion & Parenting During COVID-19
How to Care for Yourself as a Parent – Self-compassion. You’ve likely been seeing that word a lot lately. Self-compassion is the ability to turn understanding, acceptance, and love inward. Many people are able to extend compassion toward others but find it difficult to extend the same compassion toward themselves. For many, this is a new term that has come about as we all try to navigate a complex and difficult world. We want you to know that how you treat yourself is going to directly affect your children and how they view themselves in the future.
Toddlers and young children simply do not have the complex decision–making skills that adults have. This prevents them from being able to control and/or regulate their emotions in a healthy way. They don’t know what the feelings of sadness, anger, and frustration are. So, they respond in the same way that they begged for attention and food when they were infants – they cry.
Just like children, adults can have a hard time managing emotions, effectively connecting with others, and not taking other’s emotions to heart. So, why should we expect children to respond differently? It begins with parents modeling these behaviors.
Giving children the ability to learn how to establish healthy connections and understand the importance to creating intimacy with themselves begins with you. Children model the behaviors they see. Does your daughter watch you put on make-up every day? She will likely attempt to put lipstick on just to be like mommy. She will also know the importance of loving herself modeled by how much you love yourself. If you constantly put yourself down about appearance, fashion, beauty, or behaviors based on shame or guilt then your child will do the same in their own life. Remember the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? This is true with the self-based behaviors that you model. Your children want an intimate connection with you. In order to do that, you have to take care of yourself.
Positive Self Talk: Be kind to yourself. Shower yourself with positive mantras, compliment yourself, have compassion for yourself as you would for others.
Take time to meet your basic needs: Drink plenty of water, use the bathroom when your bladder signals you to go, eat lunch even when you “don’t have time”, shower regularly.
Practice emotional self-care: Validate your own feelings by saying “Yes, I feel ___ right now.” Don’t try to remove the uncomfortable, instead embrace yourself and your feelings.
Practice Self-Compassion in your every day life: Listen to music, read a book, spend some time in nature – make time in your day to do the things that make you feel good.
Self-compassion is the root that needs to lengthen and grow for you to blossom and shine. When you start to accept every part of yourself then you’re able to really share your gifts and joys to others and help them. Start by showing yourself the compassion and kindness YOU deserve.
YOU DESERVE IT.