Sunday, September 26, 2010

u is for use your brain power

Use your higher brain during those moments when you are filled with anger. Avoid slipping back into your own childhood and try to apply a little logic and self-control.


This morning I was playing with the kids when my reading glasses broke. I'd be okay with it except my spare pair were 'posted' somewhere at my mum's place in Adelaide and they're yet to make their way home to Melbourne. So, I'm squinting while typing this post.

Can I just say that play time ended quite abruptly and it didn't seem so much fun anymore. And now I'm a teeny bit mad, and now have no glasses.

So, using that higher brain power... is it just me, or this easier to say than to do?


I swore when I was a teenager that I would not use those sayings my parents used. I would approach certain problems in a different way. I was always going to be cool, calm and collected. Logical and sensible.

Oh, the confidence of youth.

And yet, here I am a parent, approaching some of those issues exactly the same way, quoting my folks word for word, and then repeating them. Over and over. And all the while hearing myself and thinking, I sound exactly like my father/mother.

The merge into my parents is almost complete. (And they will laugh ever so smugly when they read this.)

Now my parents would be the first to admit they weren't perfect, and there are lots of great parenting qualities that they've passed down to me which come second nature.

In preparation for trying to do those other things differently, I became a self-help junkie for quite some time. And during my pregnancy with Madison I read everything I could get my hands on. Of course there was admiration from my mother (who would have valued reading just some of what is available today), and then criticism from others (who said that you can't learn everything from books).

Because when it comes to the practicalities of parenting, you tend to go for what comes naturally. You default to your parenting blueprint. What you learnt during your upbringing.

But reading so much stuff about discipline, parenting tactics and such has certainly helped. We have a naughty spot, we count to three, we affirm when good things happen.

And, mostly it works.

We even resort to smacking hands and bottoms sometimes too. And although there may be those who vehemently disagree, there are times the other things just don't work as well.

Mind you on a few occasions where my anger has gotten to boiling point, I'm proud to admit I've locked myself in a room to cool down before acting.

Do you use your higher brain power? Do you find yourself slipping back into your own childhood? Have you learnt completely new parenting habits, or do you mix it up a little?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.