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When you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted with parenting, what you want is parenting solutions. You want something that can help your family heal and move forward. The behavior skills on Smarter Parenting is what families need. 

The reason we are feeling overwhelmed all the time is that parenting is challenging, and because we love our kids, we want what is best for them. Parents don’t always know how to do that.

Some simple tips can help overwhelmed parents.

Remember: It’s because we love our kids and want what’s best that we feel frustrated.

Vent: It’s okay to discuss our frustration, and then we need to figure out how to use our frustration to help our kids.

Focus on the big picture: Determine what the ultimate goal we want is. Then using behavior skills, set up small steps to get there.

Be okay with slow progress: Change isn’t going to happen overnight–and that’s okay. Celebrate small victories and remember that small steps lead to something significant over time.

The behavior skills on Smarter Parenting help parents take their feelings of frustration and start working towards healing. Each behavior has steps that allow parents to know exactly how to respond to a situation.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed all the time, we invite you to reach out for individualized parenting help through our Parenting Coaching. Right now, we are offering free 15-minute Parenting Coaching mini-sessions to help parents who are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

If you are a parent who is feeling overwhelmed all the time, we offer free 15-minute parenting coaching mini-session. During the mini-session, you will get specific answers to your family’s problems. Don’t put off healing your family. Sign-up today. https://www.smarterparenting.com/coaching/

To learn the behavior skills on Smarter Parenting visit: https://www.smarterparenting.com/lesson/

Episode Transcript

In this episode, I will discuss dealing with feelings of frustration and feeling overwhelmed. So let’s begin. This is episode 70. Let’s get started.

Smarter Parenting welcomes you to our podcast series, The Parenting Coach for ADHD. Here to heal and elevate lives is your Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini.

Hello, everyone. How is everybody doing? I hope you’re doing fantastic. I am actually doing really great. Today I am going to be talking about dealing with feelings of frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed, particularly for the parents. Now, this is something that I am super excited to talk about because we’ve been talking about teaching our children skills and how to implement them. This particular podcast is focused on helping parents deal with these feelings of frustration and the feelings of being overwhelmed.

Now, I need to preface this with what has happened in the last couple of days. I was invited to present to a group of parents. Now, they were all Spanish-speaking. Fortunately, I speak Spanish myself. So while I was presenting to these parents about parenting tips and things that they need to do in order to increase harmony within the home, I had at the end an open session where people could ask any questions that they wanted. And overwhelmingly, the questions that came up were all layered with these feelings of frustration and feeling overwhelmed.

Now, this isn’t new to me because I have been working with parents for years and years. Like almost forever it feels like, and these feelings are very common. I mean feelings that “Hey, I am really frustrated at what’s happening.” So during this exchange that I was having with these parents, I was able to help them find some logistical things that they could do in their home to alter based on the presentation because I talked about the skills that you can find on the Smarter Parenting website.

What I found, though, was that after I was able to give them a little nugget of something that they needed to do, their frustration and their feelings of being overwhelmed actually decreased. Now, I want you to think about that, right? Parents who are highly frustrated and have strong feelings of being overwhelmed are less resourceful than parents who have a very set plan on what they want to do. And they tend to really, really compound the issue with what’s happening with their child because of their feelings. So in working with parents, it was almost as if giving them something to do or something that they could try helped to alleviate some of those feelings.

Now, this goes back to previous times that I have expressed this that whenever you are dealing with a child and a behavior that they are exhibiting, the first question you should ask yourself is, “What skill do I need to teach my child in this instance?” So if a child is throwing a tantrum, for example, that is the very first question you should ask, “What skill do I need to teach to my child in order to help my child learn to self-regulate and calm down?” Very, very systematic approach.

Now, during the coaching sessions that I’ve been doing over the last couple of weeks, what I’ve noticed is people call in with a high level of frustration and feeling overwhelmed. In fact, the majority of the calls that I get are from parents who have reached that point where frustration and overwhelmed feelings are the primary issues of why they are calling for assistance. So my role in helping them is to decrease that feeling of frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Again, when you are in that state of being when parents are in that state of being, they are less resourceful and they’re less able to actually effectuate change with their children. Frustration often leads to yelling and screaming. And in many ways, and I’ve said this before to some parents, you are throwing a parent tantrum in order to get your child to conform to the behavior you want out of their tantrum, right? 

So the idea that we are throwing a tantrum in order to stop a tantrum, it’s not as effective as if we actually approach the situation in a calm and a very systematic approach, right? Which is what we do here. In fact, all the skills on the Smarter Parenting website are structured that way, so they give you step-by-step what you should do while you are teaching a very specific skill. It’s actually very beautiful because it takes that emotionality out of it and it gives you the power as a parent to really start to work towards your goal of what skill your child needs to know in order to be successful.

After this session that I had with these parents, Hispanic parents, it was fascinating to meet them afterward one-on-one. And in particular, I met with one woman, and she has allowed me to use her name. Her name is Maria. Maria is working with multiple children, actually, in the home who have issues with being tardy and not following through with instructions. And all of these major things that she is struggling to do. She’s a single parent. She’s a wonderful woman. She works very hard. And her expectations in the home are not unreasonable.

So she works her full-time job. Her children go to school. And when she returns home, she expects them to do chores around the house. Much the way that she did when she was living with her parents when they were young. And yet, what she has found is that her children don’t follow through. So she’ll come back home from work and the children will be watching videos. They’ll be playing games. They’ll be out with their friends. So they’re not doing anything that she’s asked them to do. And so her frustration and her feelings of being overwhelmed, it was a tidal wave. It was very, very difficult for her to maintain her composure and to find a systematic way to approach it.

What I did with Maria is we went through what was happening in the home, and I allowed her to express it. Because expressing your frustration and your feelings of being overwhelmed is a wonderful way to kind of let steam out of the bag. You’re actually getting that out, which is fantastic. That’s only one part of it. After you let steam out, you had to figure out, okay, what am I going to do now, right? So in working with Maria, we had to come up with a very systematic plan. And the plan had to consist of things that she was able and willing to do and follow through with in order to make things work in her home.

Now, Maria’s not the only parent out there. In fact, I want to empathize to all the parents out there. We all had that experience where our child has done something and we have been frustrated and we have felt overwhelmed. Now, those feelings come because we care about our children. We feel that way, that intensity because we absolutely love our children. And we want them to succeed and we know that there’s a better way.

So the idea that the frustration and being overwhelmed is overpowering is true. It’s absolutely true. It can be so overpowering. But understand where that stems from. That stems from love, and it stems from your caring for your child so much so that it drives you bananas. What I am telling you here in this podcast, on this vlog is that we need to rechannel those feelings of love towards something that will give us lasting change. Which is teaching them skills. We need to teach them how to understand the world around them, how to behave in certain ways. We need to teach them how to interact with other people. All those things are things that we need to teach them.

So don’t fret. And I’m not judging any parent out there that feels frustrated or overwhelmed. I have been there myself personally raising my own child. She’s a wonderful child. She’s absolutely wonderful. And yet, there are moments where those buttons have been pressed and I’ve had to let off some steam by expressing my frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed. But then I had to redirect all of that energy into, “What am I going to teach my child so she can learn from this and be better. What skill does she not have that makes this hard for her to do what she needs to do?”

So again, we need to let out the frustration. We need to let out the feelings of being overwhelmed and then redirect all our energy and all our love into solutions. Into what do we need to teach our child to follow through. What skill does my child need to learn?

Now, I did want to express that empathy out to parents. I know of your plight. I know of your frustration. I know that there are nights where you are just crying because of the frustration that you feel. Because of the difficulty. And again, that stems from your love for your child. That stems from your caring about your child. And that’s not a bad thing. Just finding how we can refocus that energy and that time to something that is useful.

I wanted to read a quote that I read across that I thought was fantastic. In fact, I shared it with the group that I was presenting to this last weekend. Here’s the quote. “Do not waste your time and energy fighting against where you are. Invest your time and energy into getting to where you want to go.” That was by Marc and Angel. As you can tell from that quote, we want to take all of that passion, all of that energy, everything that we have into investing our time and our energy into getting where we want to go. That actually comes by teaching our children skills. The skills that they need in order to be successful.

So don’t waste your time fighting the energy about where you’re at. A lot of times, especially with Maria, we tend to get stuck in the moment of what is happening. So when I was talking to Maria after the meeting, she was expressing these concerns. And I’m like, “Okay, so we’re going to look at a long-term goal and then we’re going to look at some short-term goals. And we’re going to work our way backward. What in the long-term do you want your children to be able to do?” And she’s like, “I want them to be able to follow what we’ve outlined in the schedule. I want them to be responsible. I want them to know how to work.” So we’re able to do that and define these goals, these long-term goals that Maria had for her children. Then we started setting smaller and smaller goals back to where we are.

What I found in discussing this with Maria is she continually actually lived in the past. So she would go back to what she did when she was a child and why her children can’t do that now, here in the United States. Maria had moved here just a couple of years ago when her children were still much younger. So her children had moved here exposed to a different culture. Now, in the culture that she grew up in, she grew up with things that were pretty strict and things were run a very specific way. Here in the United States of America, things are a little bit different, and children are exposed to a lot of different things. So she was trying to apply what she knew into what she wanted for here in the United States.

That led to a discussion. “Okay, well, let’s decide what we can do.” Because where she came from, corporal punishment was something that was highly favored for her parents to do with their children. Now, we don’t believe in that because we believe children need to develop relationship and bonds with their caregivers and that that is actually what creates a healthy adult. She grew up with that, and she struggled with that. She struggled with that thinking, “Well, okay, back there I did that, but I can’t do that here.”

That led to a lot of other discussions. But again, Maria was focused in on all her energies on the past and on the present. So what we had to do is project out to the future in order to help her set goals for what she wanted in the future. And then a smaller goals that would lead up to what she desired for her children.

Now, Maria’s not a bad mother. She’s a wonderful mother. And she’s very resilient. Moving here not speaking a lot of English and being able to find work, and stability, and raising her own children here, on her own, is actually a feat that is amazing. I mean, really, talk about resilience and talk about fortitude in a mother. And yet with all of that, the feelings of frustration and being overwhelmed were still there. So we worked that way systematically to help her. But again, I also talked to her about her feelings of being frustrated and overwhelmed and moving that passion into what we’re going to do now in the future in order to help her reach her goals. So we did have that discussion.

What I find even more fascinating is that in working with her, she was able to grasp the concepts that I was explaining to her. And she was able to really apply them into focusing her energy into the future. Now, she may stumble along the way, and I’ve asked her to give me a call so we can work on things, as well. And I wanted to follow up and see how things are going. But being able to help her realize those things was a game-changer for her. Having her focus her energy on where she wants to go rather than focused on the here and now or in the past.

Now, the here and now, we are focused on smaller goals to get them to where they want to be, but she needed to set a goal in the future so she knew that when she reached it that she had arrived. Setting the small goals here is great, but we also need an endgame plan. You need an endgame plan of what you want in the end because that will help you gauge where you are on your spectrum of success for your child.

It was a great meeting. And actually, sharing this information in Spanish, it was almost a different nuance, which I thought was really, really fascinating for me. I have done this before in Spanish. This hasn’t been like a new thing for me in Spanish. However, being immersed in a culture that is different, and parenting is done differently in different parts of the world, and then being able to merge all those because what all parents want is success for their children. In fact, a lot of the things that parents do around the world are meant to do that, provide and help them be successful. We go about it in different ways, but the end goal is success for our children.

With Smarter Parenting and the skills, what we’re looking for is developing healthy, emotional, mental, and relationships between parent and child. That’s what we’re looking for long term. So that’s why these skills are so effective. Because you can actually raise your child towards success, but your child may have resentment towards you, hate your guts and what kind of world is that, right? We want our children to come around and be a part of our lives. We want to know what’s happening with them. We’ve invested all of their lives into raising them. We want to continue those bonds but in healthy ways. In healthy ways.

Another quote that I shared during this presentation, because I thought it was a really good quote, “Is frustration is not a work plan.” Just remember if you’re feeling frustrated, don’t use that as the impetus for change in your home. We do not want to use our feelings of frustration as the jumping-off point. We don’t want to start things in that state. We want to start things in a state of being very, very methodical. Thoughtful. Patient. Careful. I mean, the skills help us do that because they outline specifically how we should interact with our child, and what we should expect, and the steps that they need to learn. And the steps that so we need to learn. So again, frustration.

This is one of those podcasts where you as a parent really have to do some self-reflection on your engagement and interaction with your child. Am I approaching my child in frustration and anger? And if I am, what can I do to calm those feelings of being frustrated? Of being overwhelmed? What can I do to calm myself so I can be more resourceful in my interaction with my children?

Now, I’m almost positive Maria’s going to have a positive outcome with her children. We had set up some very specific goals, smaller goals along the way. That are meant to help her focus in on first the child that is most compliant to the rules and to build that up. Then to focus on tasks that are doable for the children and for her to praise them along the way. And then to increase as they become more and more independent and successful. So there’s a lot of nuance in what she’s going to be doing with her children and that’s why I’m following up. But, I don’t see anything but success. Maria is a hard worker, and she’s a person that obviously does not give up. And when it comes to her children, she is willing to do what she needs to do to help them be successful. So I have no qualms about her ability to really make changes happen within her home.

So that is one of the things that I wanted to share with you this time during this podcast, but also that when you call up for a coaching session, those are the types of things that we will be discussing and working through. Now, I can share a lot of information through a podcast. However, when you call in, when we’re able to communicate and you’re able to give me information and then I can share it, it becomes more personal. So if you have not signed up for a free 15-minute Coaching Session, do so. You can do it on the Smarter Parenting website. And we will get deeper and deeper into how these skills can be effective for you and your children.

This is it for me from this week. And I look forward to communicating more about the things that are happening here at Smarter Parenting. And also in sharing with you ways that you can engage and interact with your children in a more positive way. All right. I will see you later. Have a good one.

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST

Behavior skills of the Teaching-Family Model

Ep #46: Understanding the ABC’s of Behavior

Ep #47: Mastering Observe and Describe

Ep #48: What it takes to change behavior

Ep #49: Compound effect of Effective Communication

Ep #50: Changing behavior through praise

Ep #51: Finding Success with Preventive Teaching

Ep #52: How to fix negative behaviors

Ep #53: The importance of Following Instructions

Ep #54: Teaching kids to make better decisions

Ep #55: Reducing bad behavior with Effective Negative Consequences

Ep #56: Reinforcing good behavior using Effective Positive Rewards

Ep #57: Teaching kids to Accept No Answers without issue

 

Ep #13: Practice leads to success

Ep #21: ADHD and caretaker fatigue

Ep #23: Setting daily intentions

Ep #42: What parents need to teach–behavior skills

Ep #44: Where am I emotionally?

Ep #59: The ADHD Smarter Parenting Coaching process

Ep #62: Teaching to behaviors instead of reacting

Ep #63: Parenting skills are essential

Ep #67: Consistency creates change

Ep #69: 4 ways to increase your relationships and fix behaviors

 

Mark and Angel Hack Life

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Specific Diagnosis ADHD #70: Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated