This morning, I was able to relief and manage stress in less than 1 minute and I will reveal it to you in Part 2. 🙁 If you care to read this post carefully, you might just discover a few hints already.
A Stressful Morning
Let me begin my post by telling you what happened this morning. My daughter woke up looking anxious, frightened and overwhelmed. It is only the 2nd week of school. She had gone to bed early as usual the night before but had not completed her homework. As it was more important for us that she had enough sleep, we had sent her to bed before she could complete them.
She uttered her first words as she sat up on her bed, “Oh no! It’s late. I have not finished my homework.” Dejavu! Just like my school days. But I was already prepared for this one to happen. With more than an hour to go before she had to go to school, I knew we had time to get her ready for school with all her homework done. It was NOT the time to be upset or give a lecture about time management.
I led her to the dining table with the schoolbooks which were left unpacked on her desk. I went to fetch her a glass of water and some breakfast. She sat there staring at the books in her morning stupor. “Drink and eat first.” I said to her. With food in her stomach and a little less anxiety later, I told her she could take a look at the homework. It was 6:15 a.m., an hour away from being late for school. “You can still finish them in 15 minutes. Mummy will go and pray now, right here so you can see me.”
At 6:30a.m., she was only half way to completion. “Mummy, do I write approximately or equal sign here?” She said as she pointed to a Mathematics sum after I finished praying. Her mind was alert. After a brief explanation, she carried on with solving the Maths sum. When she finally finished, she had half and hour left to pack up her bag and get dressed for school. We did everything together. Well she did most of the work; I just took away most of the anxiety and pressure off her chest.
When we entered the lift, she was ready to say something. I interrupted before she could utter a word, “If you can’t change it, don’t think about it.” She replied, “I can. It’s my alarm clock. It rang but I couldn’t hear it.” “You must be very tired then. You had a very long day the day before yesterday. You needed to rest.” She nodded. She hugged me tightly at the school gate before entering. With her homework done and feeling fresh, I left self-assured that she would be ready for another school day.
If she couldn’t finish her homework this morning, I would still send her to school punctually. What I could do is to communicate the situation to the teachers with a written letter, requesting for more time for the homework to be completed.
Learning From Past Stressful Situations
There had been days when she was anxious, frightened and overwhelmed but I was under stress myself from lack of sleep and fatigue. It is always easy to pick on something or someone else to blame. Yet, instead of helping myself, I became more stressful. Here is the reason why this happened.
When we fail to manage stress, we fail to manage time. We tend to see what is currently stressful and suppress past stress, leaving it unsettled and buried inside us. We get caught in a web of stressful situations. I had not tried to manage stress; I tried to manage time. I put an alarm clock for every change of activity at 15 minutes interval. Time passed by really quickly when you feel stressful. So I became a robot. What I should have been doing is to manage the stress.
The solution to managing a stressful morning is not to be stressed about being stressed and tired. If you pass the stress to the child by scolding her, what you get is a child who will learn to tell lies or think of excuses for not completing her homework. Why so? This is because the child could only see you being angry and upset at her, not at the situation. Anger is monster that towers over every emotion in a human heart. It wills Jealousy to bitch, Sadness to cry, Bitterness to winch, Impatience to nag, Sorrowfulness to be lazy and Envy to worry. So what a kid sees is a parent who is angry. The heart is unhappy but the kid does not see that.
End of Part 1.