Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tentative Parenting : Calm the F*** Down!

Email from K2's teacherI just want to let you know of an incident...
Working Mom : Lost it and took all electronics away for a weekend. I had a talk with him on actions and consequences but I didn't behave like one of those calm moms who have an adult conversation with their kid, I became THIS screaming banshee...and think I scared myself as much as I scared K2 (and probably his dad)

Last month I read about this technique called the CTFD  (calm the F*** down) technique - and it applies for the PARENT not the KID!  I wasn't a picture perfect kid - I broke things, I fibbed, I beat up all the boys in my big brother's class and I was probably below average on my grades and my parents dealt with it. And I turned out alright! So I need to CTFD and take a deep breath and determine my course of action. The reality I have realized in my meager years parenting is :
#1 Childhood shouldn't be a race.
"Every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and ... it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra...or even how successful he or she is in life
#2 Sometimes, you just have to slow down.
“I will not say, 'We don't have time for this.' Because that is basically saying, 'We don't have time to live.'
#3 Pay attention.
“If you pay attention, kids will teach you how to laugh loudly, how to love deeply and how to live fully. They will also ruin all your stuff and drive you crazy...but then didn't you sign up for this parenting thing?"
#4 Get comfortable with dissonance.
"Our families are where we first learn how to say 'No' in a safe, supportive environment. If we don't learn to do so there, we won't learn to do so anywhere. If our children can't say 'No' to us, they won't say it to anyone -- AND I am not signing up to raise a doormat/pushover" 
#5 Stop solving everything.
“This one took me years to figure out. It's one that is really hard to get good at because I love fixing and solving things for K2...but I have learnt he would rather solve his own problems"
#6 Beware  of distracted living.
“We live in an age where we are constantly fed messages that we should try to do as much as we can as fast as we can- multi-tasking to live at maximum efficiency. How many homework assignments and grocery store runs, appointments and meetings, Zumba classes and posts to social media sites and DVRd shows and any number of things with varying degrees of importance do we try to cram into any one day?”...Let's just stop and enjoy the "Cherry Blossoms"

The honest truth is - I don't know how I do this parenting thing. But I don't think it is hard because I am a working mom trying to do a balancing act on a tight rope...nor do I think it will be any easier if I was a stay-at-home mom... I don't know how any of us do it. It's glorious and rewarding and full of love and it is at times probably the shittiest roles I ever signed myself up for. Yet what I do know for a fact is - I will take every day as it comes with an open heart and mind and take it for what it is vs. judging, evaluating and wanting to change it.


  1. Parenting can be tricky. Check out the book: Raising an Emotionally Intelligent
    Child, The heart of parenting by John Gottman. Has a lot of tips.

    Hopefully we will bump into 3 of you again sometime in the ISKCON temple.

    1. I just borrowed this book from my library and look forward to reading it

  2. I enjoyed reading this post Meenakshi. It makes a lot of sense. Nalini

  3. Thanks for leaving a message for me on my blog Meenakshi.. Trying to cope up as well as I can.. Hope you r doing good.. it's tough .. they say time is the greatest healer, but that looks far fetched as of now for me...

    Loved your take on parenting ... this article totally resonates .. completely makes sense....:) .. agree with each & every point..

    1. Hi Manjusha, In India for my Bapa's first year ceremony. It is hard but also Cathartic.

      Take Care,