A Parent’s Guide to Staying CalmAugust 2, 2018
No matter how wonderful your child is, every parent is bound to get frustrated or upset every once in a while. Check out our tips below on how to “keep your cool” this summer.
1. Anticipate Triggers
With a set routine, it’s sometimes easier for parents to pinpoint the situations that set off their child. This could be anything from a child picking out his clothes in the morning or missing his snack time. Once you know the triggers, you can try and find a way to prevent the outbursts, or at least know when to expect the behavior.
2. Model Behavior
If you cannot respond calmly in the moment, giving yourself a brief “time-out” actually models self-calming behavior for your child. After parent and child have settled down, it can be helpful to label your emotions and explain your calming process with “I was getting upset, so I decided to count to ten and take deep breaths to calm myself down.” This teaches your child how to handle their own frustrations in a positive way.
3. Remember their Developing Minds
Children’s minds and behaviors are developing every day, and often they are not always capable of acting how you want. Remember that your child is still learning how to behave and handle strong emotions. Think of these situations as opportunities to help them learn about their feelings and those of the people around them.
4. Avoid Yelling
Unless your child is engaging in dangerous behavior, yelling is usually not effective in changing a child’s behavior. Raising your voice puts the focus on the emotion rather than the message you are trying to convey, and can encourage your child to respond with more yelling. Instead, take a breath or a moment away from the chaos. Giving yourself time to decompress and collect your thoughts allows you to respond calmly and de-escalate the situation.
If you do end up losing your temper and yelling at your child, explain why you reacted in that way and reiterate that you love them. Taking time to repair your connection by showing affection is important for your bond. Let them know you make mistakes too and next time you are upset, you will try harder to calm down before responding.