I tend to fall into the vicious cycle of not doing anything for myself, which makes me a cranky and unproductive mother. When caught in this cycle, my children are the first to feel the bad energy because they’re with me all day and night.
Usually, the cycle is hard to break, and if by chance I find a way to break it, it’s usually too late — by this time, the yelling has happened and feelings have been hurt. But I recently realized that because my children are with me all day, they can be my source of better mental health, relaxation and stress relief instead of, for lack of better terms, my punching bags. No, I don’t punch them, but as I mentioned, they are the first to catch my cranky vibes.
What if I told you that our children don’t have to do much other than be themselves to be a source of better energy? How? There are many ways that we can learn to be better humans from our little characters, but I’m going to stick to the way they use their imaginations.
As adults, we forget how important having a creative outlook on things can change our ability to problem solve. It is rare that I think of using my imagination before logic or before reaching out to a peer for help. Our children can be our daily reminders to use our imagination. They are natural at it, almost as if they’re born knowing how to do it.
Changing my perspective on how my children can be my reset button instead of my button-pushers has helped me see my time with them as practice in using my creative thinking. Here are some ways I exercise my creative noggin when I’m around my children — and the best part is that my children can be active participants in my exercises.
4 Ways to Use Your Imagination to Problem Solve
1. Being a super-heroine coming to rescue during bedtime. The blanket of darkness has been dropped on our world and I must get my children to their beds to ensure their safety. Staying awake increases their chances of tripping over left-out toys.
2. Being giants who eat their veggies to keep growing. As I chew on my first vegetable, my arms extend out. As I eat the second vegetable, my legs grow longer. When I finish my plate, my voice sounds deeper and I stand stronger. Eating my vegetables has helped me grow into the giant I need to be in order to climb back up my beanstalk.
3. Coming to the rescue and saving mouths from bugs. The toothbrush is my weapon and the toothpaste is my ammo. Once I am done brushing my children’s teeth, there are no more worries about bugs living in their mouth. Well, until the next bug alarm goes off.
4. Using shower time to cleanse our bodies from the mud. Where did the mud come from? None other than from the trap we fell into! Duh!
I’ve noticed progress in the way I cope with frustrating situations, especially when I’m cranky. Of course, I’m not perfect and the negative energy still makes its way to my days, but the way I see it, I have another option to turn to when I need to press the reset button — my imagination. Plus, practicing my imagination has also helped me reduce the amount of pushback I get from my kids.
What are some imaginative ways you deal with everyday stress with your children, at work or out in public? —Jasmin