Creative Child

Parenting Derailed – Getting Back on Track

by Rebecca Eanes


I like to think of derailing as a pit stop to refuel and maybe get our wheels changed or our engine checked because that’s what needs to happen when we are no longer running properly. We need to stop and take a look at what is causing us to get off track. We very likely need to take tender care of ourselves, and that means ditching the shame gremlins and offering up some self-compassion because I seriously doubt there is a parent anywhere who hasn’t been derailed. Here are some ways for clearing out the negative emotions and getting back on track:

1. Take a 2-4 days to take it easy on your body, mind, and spirit. Declare this your time of renewal.

2. Journal a lot. The act of writing accesses your left brain, the analytical and rational part. It helps you clarify. There are a host of other benefits to journaling as well

3. Spend some quiet time alone, even if you have to do that at 1 am, because you need to be still and quiet to just sit with your emotions and allow them to run their course. Maybe you’ll need to get a sitter for a day or call a friend over for help. Do it. You are a priority.

4. Mindfully sip your coffee, meditate for at least a few minutes each day, stretch your body, and watch a sunset. Take a mental step away from your troubles on this last day before you recommit to your parenting goals and get back on track. Notice the budding flowers or the falling snow. Savor the scent of a cooking meal or baby shampoo. In other words, spend a day reveling in good, positive things around you.

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Once you feel that your mind, body, and spirit are restored, it’s time to get back on track with being the parent you want to be. Here’s how:

1. Have a talk with your kids. Apologize for your recent behavior. Let them know it isn’t their fault, and that you’d like to start over. Tell them your goals and intentions, and make a pact with each other that this day is a fresh start.

2. Seek out that which inspires you, and stay away from that which stresses you out! Keep a list of positive quotes on your phone or in your notebook that you can get to easily. Listen to uplifting songs and podcasts. Read content that fills your mind and soul with positive things. Stay away from internet drama and draining people.

3. Make yourself a priority so that you’re not so likely to derail again. You are not just a mom or dad. You are a whole person with talents, desires, and glowing potential outside your parenthood role. Read a book. Paint. Exercise daily. Call a friend. Take a warm bath with scented candles and soft music. You matter. Don’t forget it!

4. Write out your new intentions and goals and put them on the fridge or in the front of your journal. Review them weekly, if not daily.

5. Write down your WHY. Why do you want to be the kind of parent you’re trying to be? What would it mean to your children? To your family? To you? Keep you why close to your heart.  Let it be your guide.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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