“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”
Motherhood is a miraculous honor as well as a sacred responsibility. Nowadays, people will look at you kind of funny if you go around spouting the “being a mother is the hardest job in the world” trope, but there’s a reason it was so universally and repeatedly quoted. It is based on solid ground.
A mother bears primary responsibility for instilling the virtues and characteristics we’d like to see flourish in our children as we prepare them for the world outside the safety of the home we provide them. A crucial element of this training is self-discipline. Self-discipline is what allows human beings to live amongst each other in relative harmony despite the shoulder-rubbing, elbowing, and hurt it comes with.
Perhaps the most powerful and long-lasting lessons in self-discipline we pass along to our children will manifest themselves in times of conflict, frustration, stress, and hurt. How we manage our emotions and reactions in tough times and situations makes a real impression in our children’s minds, sometimes more than we know. In other words, how to successfully behave when your child hurts your feelings!
That calls for us to ask ourselves the question; if we, as fully or not so fully formed adults do not possess the self-discipline to regulate our anxiety, reactivity, fear, and anger, how then could we possibly hope to instill these qualities in our children? We can’t give what we don’t have, to put it simply.
The reality for a lot of us out there is that we never gained full mastery over ourselves and our emotional reactions as children. Maybe things were just done differently as we were growing up, with minimal emphasis on emotional openness and nurturing.
The good news is that we never stop growing, and growing is learning. That’s why we should all take the time and make the effort to learn how to own our own actions, feelings, and words as we make our way along the wondrous journey of motherhood. It’s not an easy undertaking by any means, but eminently well worth it.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can go about better handling your emotional response to hurt. It’s not an exact science, obviously, but keeping these ideas in mind can effectively diffuse a stressful situation, preventing bad from going to worse.
But before we jump in, let’s have a close look at what this whole article will be about:
1. Don’t Forget The Truth
That’s the very first thing you need to think about when your child hurts your feelings. The thing about getting our feelings hurt is that it so often leads us to forget all the love, joy, admiration and respect that defines the relationship between us and our children. Pain is like that. It crowds out everything else. You have to fight the urge to act out instinctively. To use the horrifying analogy, don’t throw away the baby with the bath water.
2. Stay Level-Headed
Kids make mistakes. It’s an integral part of the learning process. Our children are learning as much about themselves as they are about the world and how to adapt to life in it. That’s why they need us. When your child says something hurtful, try to get at the underlying sentiment behind the words, however difficult, and address it calmly. You’ll both grow from the experience, and bonds will be strengthened.
3. Take A Step Back
We’re only human. External factors can contribute to conflict between you and your child that would have been easily avoidable otherwise. Maybe you missed an appointment, were late for work, or fought with a friend. Your child’s day might have carried its fair share of frustrations as well. The point is, you should strive to be alert to these external triggers and guard against avoidable conflict. And now you are ready for the fourth steps in successfully managing the situation when your child hurts your feelings.
4. Blow Off Some Steam
When going through an emotionally charged period, you need to regain your equilibrium before you can make the best decisions on how to react. A brilliant way to dissipate the excess energy is to get physical; you don’t need to go sign up for the Boston marathon just because your teenage daughter didn’t like dinner last night; simple exercises like jumping jacks, press-ups, or a light jog around the neighborhood can work wonders.
5. Be Honest
A single moment of sincere honesty could be the miracle you need. It could overwhelm years of cherry pretense and resentful tolerance on the part of both parent and child. Opening up and trying as best you can to explain your perspective demonstrates a respect for their maturity which they will be very quick to appreciate. Respect calls for respect in return, so you can’t go wrong with this.
6. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Should you find yourself reacting too hastily to the situation or overreacting in some way, don’t beat yourself up over it; cut yourself some slack, offer an apology to your child, reconnect with them, and just get on with it. Time is precious. Jill Churchill put it this way; “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Be a good one today.
Interested in getting to know more? Here top 5 parenting tips to never miss!
Dealing with your emotions and feelings when you are hurt is not easy, but surely doable. Follow the tips and tricks above and you will never have to worry about your kids getting to hurt your feelings.