Default parenting is a thankless job. So is “regular” parenting. Sometimes, we’re trying to row upstream against the rapids, and sometimes we’re becalmed in the fog.
Wherever you are in your parenting journey, take heart. Help is on the way.
It’s Time for a Little Talk
When you’re exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged, your self-talk isn’t helping you. In case you don’t know, self-talk is that tape that plays in your head, saying you’re a bad parent, or that your kid is never going to turn out okay, or that you’ve lost your son or daughter forever.
As the “great prophet” Tom Petty once said, “The waiting is the hardest part.” If you’re waiting for and wanting change in your child, or when things seem to be getting worse, it’s time to sit yourself down and have a little talk. Grab a pen and paper, and your Bible, if you have one, and dictate a new script for your brain.
The best way to erase negative self-talk is–surprise!–with positive self-talk. But positive self-talk isn’t a one-time thing or even a once-a-day thing. It is constantly reminding yourself of who you truly are, and why you are a parent.
The negative self-talk that goes on in everyone’s heads can feel relentless. Because you experience it almost automatically, like the laugh track on an old sitcom, you may not even realize it’s there until it causes you to respond. That’s why you need to be just as relentless in wiping it out. If you see a positive message everywhere you look, you will slowly begin to retrain your brain to encourage you.
Write positive affirmations from Scripture or other sources on slips of paper, index cards, or sticky notes. Post them in places you look at every day: Your bathroom mirror, your dashboard, your desk, even on your laptop. I usually have one on my refrigerator door. Also, if you journal, copy one down each time you write in your journal.
They shouldn’t be lengthy paragraphs, just notes of encouragement to re-program the negative track in your mind. It’s a proven way of modifying behavior that I’ve heard about for years but hadn’t tried until recently. I’m going to list a few inspirational quotes to help you get started. Choose the ones that seem to resonate with you, then write them in your own words, if that helps.
Encouraging Words from God and His Friends
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” — Philippians 1:6
“We need days of failure because they help humble us, and through them we can see how God’s grace is poured out on the humble.” — Elyse Fitzpatrick
“For I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.” — Isaiah 49:25
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” — Galatians 6:9
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” — Isaiah 43:4
“Believe that God is strong enough to save your children, no matter how you fail.” — Elyse Fitzpatrick
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” — 1 John 3:1
“Every human being is under construction from conception to death.” — Billy Graham
“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man” — James 3:2
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” — 2 Timothy 1:7
“You believe in God for your soul. Believe in him about your property. Believe in God about your sick wife or your dying child. Believe in God about your losses and bad debts and declining business.” — C.H. Spurgeon
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” — Psalm 55:22
“Refuse to be disheartened, discouraged, distracted from your goals in life.” — Bernice King
Remember this: No Matter how frustrated, discouraged, or “stuck” you may feel, there is always hope. God’s got this!
Grace is Real–
Judy, The Default Mom