Parents and caregivers are flooded with a constant barrage of advice.
When we don’t follow that advice, the mind creeps in with all those “shoulds” and guilt. All the pressure, worries, and what ifs can so easily invade your mind and leave you feeling overwhelmed and at a loss for how to move forward.
“I should have planned better.”
“I should have known my child would need something different.”
“I should have said no to that.”
“I should have said yes to that.”
“I should have used positive parenting strategies.”
“I should have used gentle parenting strategies.” ns
“I should have …” vs. “I should NOT have…”
The shoulds don’t ever seem to stop!
But I’m here to tell you to stop shoulding on yourself.
I know what you’re thinking: “Easier said than done!” – So how do we stop shoulding on ourselves? Where and from whom do we get help with this?
Here’s where to start…
All those shoulds? They’re just words. They’re just a string of verbal behavior your mind is telling you.
Within Acceptance & Commitment Training, one of the 6 main pillars is acceptance. Not accepting all the things that happen to you, but accepting all those strings of words your mind tells you. Accepting that they are just thoughts.
We don’t have to love these thoughts, but we can make room for them.
We can accept that we are having the thought. We can recognize and acknowledge the thought. And then we remind ourselves that is all it is – a thought, words in your head. Then we have the opportunity to just let them be and respond how we choose.
Another of the 6 pillars is cognitive defusion, which refers to creating distance from your thoughts or unhooking from these words your mind tells you.
Can you see how as parents and caregivers we could really benefit from learning acceptance and defusion from a qualified service provider?
Be defusing from our thoughts, we gain more freedom to choose how to respond.
This opens up space for more flexible thinking, allowing us to focus on what’s important to us as individuals and for our families.
Once we are able to focus on our priorities without interfering thoughts, we can then take actions that align with our family values.
Within Parenting with ABA’s on-demand ACT for Parent Training course, providers can learn how to help parents practice defusion in real time- with a variety of analogies, exercises, and practices for daily life.
This training bundle includes 5 modules- 2 of which focus on values. Each module contains a video, links to resources and references, handouts and printables, and 1 learning CE certificate upon completion.
This online on demand CE course is perfect for someone totally new to Acceptance & Commitment Training but is also appropriate as a refresher to get new ideas for behavior analysts already using ACT in practice.
Behavior analysts: Learn more and get started here today!
Parents: Clarify your family values and get customized support based on your family’s individual needs and goals by booking a free brainstorming session with me!