Monday, December 20, 2010

Positive Self Talk for Parents

After hours of meetings, a cranky boss, and lots of traffic, coming home to our children/family should be the best part of our day. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t always work out that way. Your teenager is age appropriately self absorbed and honestly does believe their world will come crashing down if you don’t immediately drive them to the movies. Your three year old does believe he or she has the strength to pour his or her own glass of milk, which you and I both know will end up on the floor. Your significant other does believe his or her funny story from their work day is so important you should sit down, smile and laugh, despite your own exhaustion level. The dog that has obediently waited all day to be walked, will gladly relieve himself on your shoes at its earliest convenience. Life is not always the storybook we imagined it would be. While there are very rewarding days with our families, there are also stressful, exhausting days when we just aren’t really sure how to manage our “home” responsibilities.

There are a ton of articles that will tell you what to say to your children and what not to say to your children. You can also find a ton of research on all the right things to say to let your significant other feel valued and supported. While those are very important tools to have in your tool bag, that is not the intention of this blog. This short blog is a helpful list of things you can tell yourself to get through a stressful evening after a stressful work day to avoid resorting to maladaptive patterns of self destructive behavior.

1. “I matter”
2. “I am an important part of this family”
3. “I can do this”
4. “I am willing to do whatever it takes”
5. “I can handle this”
6. “Its ok if I’m not good at this”
7. “I will not give up”
8. “I’m going to be OK”
9. “I will have a better day tomorrow”
10. “I am capable”
11. “I am valuable”
12. “I am learning and growing”
13. “I can solve any problem”

Repeating these positive statements to yourself may seem a bit silly at first, but I promise you there are countless benefits to taking care of yourself. In your chaotic day to day life, taking a few moments to remind yourself that you matter, are important and have value can make all the difference. The next time you take a phone call and the children have turned dinner time into a food fight, take a brief second and practice some positive self talk. Good luck!

Jennifer Nadelkov, LMFT

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