Step by Step Thinking
Have you ever had so much to do that you were completely overwhelmed and just couldn’t get out of your own way? Or maybe so overwhelmed with emotion that you couldn’t make sense of your thoughts? We know you have felt this way because everyone does from time to time. The most important thing for you and for your child is to move through the overwhelm by using logic.
Thinking logically means that your brain is thinking everything through step by step. Any overwhelming task or emotion can be broken down into manageable chunks. This is magical for everyone’s brain including your childs.
Some of us have an easier time with this than others because our brains are hardwired to automatically slow down and think things through. Others of us may struggle and get caught up in the chaos our brain is experiencing. Regardless of age the strategy is the same.
When overwhelmed the first step is to break things into chunks.
Consider a time when you had so much to do you just jumped into it with no plan and then got very little accomplished. Now think of a time where you had a lot to do so you came up with a plan and then got busy making it happen. The result is entirely different and the emotions that go along with it are completely different too.
You might be thinking well, that sounds good in theory but how am I actually going to do that I have no time to even stop to think!
We are going to make this very simple. Step 1 before letting your day get away from you take 5 minutes and write down your plan for what you are doing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. You may not even need 5 minutes! And if you are thinking ya but…….stop there and recognize that if you don’t figure this out for yourself your child is not going to have the role modeling they need to start doing it for themselves.
Let’s say you just dropped your children off at school and maybe you still have a younger one with you. Before you even get out of the car when you get to your next destination whether it be work or home you are going to write down your plan for the day or at least the first part of the day. Don’t have a notebook in your car (get one and leave it there!) or simply put it on your phone. The key is do not let your feet hit the pavement until you have a plan.
Still not feeling it? Start small and get the most important task out of your head and break it into how you will complete this task. If its getting a load of laundry in think Step 1 I am gathering the laundry up from around the house without doing ANYTHING else, Step 2 I am going directly to the washing machine and starting the wash, and Step 3 I am setting an alarm on my phone (not a reminder) for when I will need to switch the wash to the dryer. What to do when the clothes are done in the dryer is for another day!
We want you to try out this technique any time you are feeling overwhelmed. It is the only way to get things done efficiently and it trains the brain to think in steps. Teach your children this same process; it takes so much pressure off of the brain! Always remember the steps your child creates may be different than what you would do and that is okay!
We love hearing about your experiences so let us know how everything is going! Leave us a comment or send us an email.
Check out our 4 Step Guide to Creating Your Child’s Treatment Plan if you haven’t already!