Staying calm protects your relationship with your child and helps you to deal with challenging situations. Still, it can be difficult to keep your cool around the clock. That’s especially true when you face additional pressures such as school closings and job loss.
As a parent, how can you remain poised when your child throws a tantrum at the supermarket? How about when they start hanging out with a crowd who look like they’re auditioning for their own reality show?
You can make your family life more peaceful and cooperative. Try these tips for parents who want to stay calm.
Prevention Strategies for Staying Calm:
1. Consider the reasons. Do you assume that your child is trying to undermine you? In reality, they may be too young to think through any complicated actions. Even older children may be more preoccupied with dealing with their own issues rather than opposing you.
2. Make rules.Many standoffs can be avoided by setting ground rules in advance. For example, agree to a family technology contract instead of arguing about phone calls during each meal.
3. Remove temptations. Try to childproof your surroundings. Put fragile items out of reach. Lock the liquor cabinet.
4. Supply distractions. Be realistic about young attention spans. Run errands on your own or in the early morning when stores are less crowded. Bring toys and videos along for long car rides.
5. Step away. Take a break if you feel like you’re becoming frustrated. Breathe deeply or go for a walk around the block. You’ll be less likely to say something you may regret.
Communication Strategies for Staying Calm:
1. Lower your voice. Your child is more likely to listen if you speak softly. Be firm
2. Validate and empathize. Try to see the situation from your child’s perspective even when you disagree. Let them know that you care about their feelings.
3. Keep it simple. Use language that your child can understand. Stick to one message at a time.
4. Focus on teaching. Discipline is more about instruction than correction. Ask yourself what you want your child to learn.
5. Repeat yourself. Be prepared to go over the same material many times. Repetition helps small children to feel secure and master new tasks.
6. Encourage cooperation. Work as a team. Ask your child to assist you and present them with choices. Tell them you appreciate their setting the table when you have to work late.
7. Laugh. Humor can lighten things up. It’s okay to use your children for entertainment as long as you guide them towards becoming responsible adults.
8. Offer praise. Notice the things your children do well. Express your gratitude. Tell them that you’re proud of them for studying hard and sharing their toys with their baby brother.
Other Strategies for Staying Calm:
1. Build bonds. It will be easier to handle mishaps if you have a strong and close relationship. Spend time with your kids one-on-one and as a family. Share their interests and pay attention to what they have to say.
2. Practice self-care. You’ll also feel more stable when you eat healthy, work out, and sleep well. Ensure that your children are getting adequate sleep too.
3. Seek professional help. A family therapist can provide additional coping strategies if you’re struggling with staying calm. Ask your doctor or trusted friends for referrals.
Your kids will still lose their backpacks and share embarrassing information with your neighbors. However, skillful planning and communication can minimize conflicts and help you to collaborate with your child during stressful times. Parenting is easier and more effective when you can stay calm.