Parents, prioritising your health can lead to better parenting

Parents, prioritising your health can lead to better parenting

During a routine check-up 2019, a doctor noticed that there were increased markers in his health report that indicated a possible risk of fatty liver. That marked a turning point for Galvin Sng, a Senior Family Life Educator with TOUCH Parenting.

Reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle

When you are about to turn 40, you start to rethink your priorities, and I want to see my children grow up.” And that was how he became a size M from a size XL through a combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

After about 2 weeks, he started to notice a difference. Not only did his weight dropped,  Galvin was also able to focus better and even feel energised enough after work to enjoy his time playing with his 2 children. This positive change motivated him to persevere on.

However, Galvin was quick to note that being healthy goes beyond the physical aspects and includes mental health as well. “Especially after being a parent myself, I realised how easily my mental health affects my children and family.”

‘Parenting consultant’ but not a parenting expert 

Despite being a “parenting consultant”, Galvin is not immune to the common parenting pitfalls.  “When I am stressed or in the heat of the moment, doing exactly the opposite of what I share with parents can be done in those situations, he shared. “We are not parenting experts or perfect parents. As family life educators, we experience the same situations, like tantrums, back home. It is just that we are more mindful of the 3 Ps – to Parent intentionally, Prioritise wisely, and Persevere fiercely.”

While many parents know the importance of self-care, some do not prioritise it and instead put their children’s needs first and allow the daily stresses, parenting and otherwise, to get the better of them. As a result, lose the ability to stay calm in the midst of their children's chaos and the opportunity to help their children through them.

Parents are the thermostats to sense the ‘temperature’ and regulate the situation

Drawing analogy to a thermostat and temperature, Galvin adds that parents are the ones who can sense the situation and take actions to regulate the environment. By being aware, parents can take a good first step to resolve difficult issues in the family.

For example, there was a mother who was concerned about her son’s constant meltdowns. After weeks of behaviour monitoring and detailing every meltdown episode, she noticed a trend – her son’s meltdowns were worsened by her reactions. Instead of reacting to his meltdowns, she learnt to calmly respond by letting him know that she will talk to him after he feels better, and the meltdowns have since improved significantly.

Keen to find out more about how to practice co-regulation in your parent-child relationship, or the possible triggers in your parenting journey? Find out more at our upcoming parenting self-care webinar where we explore how one can better take care of your children as well as one’s role as a parent.