Staying calm during challenging parenting moments is hard. It’s a challenge in itself to learn to control yourself while teaching your little one the correct behaviour.
Did you know that when parents use positive discipline, children are more likely to respond well and start cooperating to your request?
I was always taught in school “treat others as you would like to be treated”.
Such a powerful saying and it really stuck with me through parenthood too. If i’m constantly giving out demands and getting angry at innocent little children who are relying on ME to teach handling emotions, they will react to situations the same way.
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Creating Trust And Respect
Discipline is most effective when keeping in mind that your goal is to create cooperation and gain your children’s trust and respect.
It is so important to focus on the discipline strategies that can help children grow and thrive in adulthood, which is why it is imperative to show them respect and positivity, even when it’s hard.
I’ve been known to ask my children to do a task over and over again. Goodness, even I see that I sound super naggy.
I really really hate when that happens, and honestly, those are the situations that make my blood boil and my anger comes out.
It is such a challenge to keep your cool as a parent when simple situations cannot merit cooperation and listening.
Fortunately for me, I have some tricks I use to keep calm and collected during those tough heated situations.
No Bribes Or Threats
Did you know that bribing children to behave is just as bad as threatening them to behave?
Neither of those options provides room for learning and improvement from either party involved in the situation.
While bribes may make the situation better in the moment, they actually make things worse in the long run.
Bribes create power struggles while threats create feelings of discouragement which then lead to undermining the bond parents have with their children.
Threads and yelling can hurt self-esteem and the capacity to process information properly. Your children can become frightened easily and in turn, begin to hide things from you.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we want out kids to come to us when they have a problem?
The effects of yelling threats aren’t limited to the child being disciplined either. The parent doing the yelling usually becomes more stressed out frustrated at the situation.
These effects can spiral out of control and before you know it, the yelling, screaming bribing actions turn into regular events and then the bonds you have with your children become weaker and weaker and eventually broken.
Importance Of Staying Calm
It is important to create a home environment that promotes positive conversation which in turn creates good communication.
Children often repeat what they see. It is important to model good behaviour if you want to see good behaviour out of your kids.
Parents that stay calm, warm and gentle (even in the toughest moments) often meet the required psychological demands that children require. It also makes them feel safe.
Think about this. If you were working and you made a small mistake such as using a blue pen instead of company black pen on a document that was submitted to a higher office. Your boss calls you in and starts to yell at you with a face that’s turning red and veins popping out left right and centre. Would you be willing to fix your mistake and apologize or would your guard come up and you start to argue back until you also have veins popping out of your neck?
I mean, in this situation you wouldn’t have a job if you yelled at your boss with popping veins, but the point is that when we get yelled at, our defences come up automatically and instead of dealing with a situation properly things just turn bad.
You can see the importance of staying calm, even when children are being destructive, impulsive, evasive etc.
How To Promote Calm Communication
Eliminate Threats And Bribes
If you find yourself getting angry and feel a threat coming on…stop and think.
Is saying something like ” You’re going to get in trouble for doing that, stop it right now” going to stop the behaviour? Could it maybe provoke even worse behaviour?
(most likely, YES)
If you find yourself in a situation like this, think about how you can phrase your request in such a way that a small child, who is still learning so much about the world, can understand.
Instead of: Don’t Kick Your Sister!
Use: Kicking Your Sister Is Not Ok. Let’s Find Something Else For You To Play With
Instead of: Don’t You Dare Throw That Toy
Use: Let’s Not Throw This Toy Around, It’s Meant For This Purpose (show). Let’s Put This Away And Go Do “example” Instead.
You see, children require specific information and clear instructions (that don’t sound like demands). Your job as a parent is to provide clear and specific information in any given situation. Instead of threats and bribes, use redirection.
Sometimes children simply do not understand what you want them to do. Providing warm encouragement will go much further than threats and yelling.
When you are faced with challenging behaviour. Provide alternatives.
Instead of: Time to go home!
Use: It’s time to get going, would you like to go down the slide one more time or go on the monkey bars?
Instead of: No more computer time today
Use: Time’s up for today, would you like to turn off the computer or would you like me to do it?
Sometimes They Need Space
Sometimes, in heated moments, children really do need some space.
This is a good thing. If your child is requesting a moment alone so process a situation, the emotional maturity is growing. Here are some tips for a non-time out, time out.
Instead of: Go to your room!
Use: I can see you’re upset right now, would you like some time alone to think about this?
Your Calm Is Their Calm
In moments of distress, your energy becomes their energy. Provide the environment that you wish to be in, instead of a reactive, explosive situation that could end up hurting feelings.
You are not alone if you react to situations in an angry way. I struggle with this myself. But the fact of the matter is, you are aware of your actions and you want to do better… I mean why else would you read this entire article!?
You’re really trying, and hey, I’m proud of you.
Tell me about your challenges in heated parenting moments, how do you handle them?