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 the entire tube 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 McDonalds. She was 10 when I said that. Ridiculous and completely irrational.
It is very easy to lose our tempers and react with emotional responses that don’t seem to match the situation, and the examples I gave are typical, tired parenting stuff. For people who are 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, these are truly emotionally difficult situations. 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 handle life’s challenges more effectively if done so with rational intentions.