Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by your child? Your child may have a very different temperament than yours. I think it is essential to consider when you think of relationship dynamics.
If you search the internet you can find many temperament or style surveys. Take a look. I think you will be reminded again of how people really can be different. Understanding the differences and accepting them can increase connection and communication. If you can change the pattern of communicating that is not working, your overwhelm can decrease.
If you are raising a fun-loving, possibility thinking child you will feel overwhelmed if you think you are responsible to make all their ideas come to life. You can simply respond with “we cannot do that now” in a neutral tone of voice. “It’s a great idea, but right now we are doing this or that and remember yesterday we …name it. Let’s write it down and do it on another day. I love your great ideas.”
It’s good for your child to then find a way to entertain themselves or to try to put their ideas in effect. Your job is to admire the ideas and encourage them to be creative, not to overwhelm.
Parenting a sensitive child can be overwhelming because there is so much emotion to deal with. Help your child to name their feeling and release it. Do not feel responsible to fix it or change it. Teach them the meanings of emotional words. There are tools to help you on line. Teach them the language to speak up about their feelings before you and they are overwhelmed by it. Teach them to ask for more time, to ask questions they need answered, how to express anxiety etc. These tools can reduce melt downs and overwhelm later.
Parenting a strong willed child can be very challenging. Their strong will is a gift but it can overwhelm you if you get into a power struggle with them over who is in charge. As parents we like to assure that our children get to have a say, but that does not mean that they get their way. Tell them in a calm, authoritative voice (I like to suggest like a policeman who pulls you over and is calm and polite and sticks to the facts), what the rules, limits or boundaries are. If you up the emotion in your voice, so will they. If you respect yourself and them, they will learn that too.
Parenting a child who wants to go, go, go is challenging also; particularly if you are a calmer, more reflective type of person. You will certainly overwhelm if you think you have to keep up and be on the go when it isn’t part of your nature. You cannot keep up with all that energy, so don’t try. Create time and space for your child to release physical energy in parks, sports, classes, trampoline, bikes, scooters, basketball nets etc. Create a space in your hoe for a rebounder, exercise, movement. They need to move and explore so give them support and encouragement to follow the needs of their bodies to move. No guilt if you cannot keep up. Suggesting outlets for them to explore is your part to play.
Understanding each others’ needs and energy levels is important so that there is no guilt and no over whelm. Know Thyself is true for you and for your child.