My friend told me a story about how, during one evening’s bedtime rituals with her kids, she completely lost it when her son wouldn’t brush his teeth.
She grabbed the toothpaste tube and angrily squirted its entire contents on his toothbrush and all over the floor. I reassured her that this was not the insane behaviour of a lunatic but quite normal. In a show of support, I shared a story about when I screamed at my daughter that if she didn’t study, she would have no options in her life but to work at McDonald’s. She was 10 when I said that. Ridiculous and completely irrational.
It is very easy to lose our temper and react with emotional responses that don’t match the situation, and the examples here are typical, tired parenting stuff. For people in serious life changing situations, such as managing an illness, caring for a child with special needs, helping a mom transition to an assisted residence because she has dementia, supporting a family member with a debilitating depression…emotionally difficult situations come up often. So how can we manage our stress in an effective way?
Today’s guest on Caregivers’ Circle, John Vespasian, author of The 10 Principles to Rational Living, shines some light on how we can use rational intentions to handle life’s challenges more effectively.
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