Reframing To Make Parenting A Little Bit Easier!

Parenting is HARD. Not like a pop quiz in high school that you weren’t prepared for hard but excruciatingly HARD. Like trying to placate the grandparents, while juggling fire (we mean a newborn baby) and walking on eggshells with your fingers crossed that your mother-in-law doesn’t realize that your daughter isn’t wearing the itchy scratchy dress she bought for her.

Despite all the challenges, once a year, we get a fresh slate. New Years is like a giant parenting Etch A Sketch; we can erase what we feel are the parenting failures of the year before and start anew.

In the spirit of starting anew, we want to introduce you to the idea of reframing. Currently the buzz word in education, (at least in our school district,) reframing is where you take negative statements and “reframe” them in a more positive way.

{Example: “I cant do this,” – reframed would be, “I am still learning how to do this.”}

To help you get started we took a number of common parenting fails and how to reframe them:

Scenario 1 – The Forgotten Birthday Present:

Your child’s BFF has a birthday party this afternoon – and you forgot to buy a present. Don’t pack your bags and travel down the, “I’m an awful parent path”! Reframing says that you can rejoice in the idea that you are a sly genius. You know how many presents kids receive at their birthday parties. By forgetting the present the day of, you extend the fun by giving them a present a week (or month, or two) later when they least expect it. Totally a parenting win!

Scenario 2 – The Empty Refrigerator:

No food in the house? Feeling like a bad parent because you can’t make breakfast for your kids before school? Guess what, reframing to the rescue! In the long run, the kids would never remember the cereal they had at home. By not having groceries in the house, you helped them make memories of the day you took them out for bagels on the way to school! Look at what a fun, rockstar parent you are.

Scenario 3 – Dirt & Grime:

Have you been mentally beating yourself up thinking about the last time your little one got a proper bath? Research shows that germs are good – don’t argue with the scientific research! In fact, those dust bunnies in the corner of the living room – you can reframe that to claim that you are actually housing a dust bunny animal rescue. How nice of you to give them a home. Not everyone would do that! You are a good person.

Our take away message, don’t be so hard on yourself! Remember, despite the challenges of parenting, reframing can help!

Happy New Year! Cheers to all of you awesome parents and your blank slate!