Whether we like it or not, there are times when we all lose our cool around our kids. Now and then we get annoyed, grumpy, frustrated, upset and exhausted from dealing with a raging child or what seems to be like an endless struggle.
While we know better how to respond in a calmly manner and not be inflicted by their emotions, we still fall into the trap sometimes in the heat of the moment. Some parents start yelling and some use the silent treatment. Neither ways are the solution.
How can you keep it together and be the calm and soothing parent you wish to be at all times?
Let’s take a closer look.
Take a step back
Whenever you find yourself losing your cool, whatever the reason, try to recognize and detect these emotions as quickly as possible. Be aware of the triggers that fuel your anger, then take a step back, pause yourself and calm down first.
Step outside of the situation for one minute. Now observe your situation from a distance. As if you are looking at yourself and your child from a distance and pay attention to what is going on. What are you noticing? What would you say to yourself standing there arguing with your child. What good and wise advise would you recommend?
Delay your response
“Between the stimulus and response, there is a space, in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response, In our response lies our growth and our happiness” ~ Viktor Franklin
Know that you don’t have to respond to your child immediately. Take a moment, be silent, breath deeply, recapture your calmness and coolness and think about the situation with a clear and fresh mind. Delaying your response can make all the difference in the world.
Before you draw your conclusion, take a moment to really listen to the child with undivided attention. Ask the child if he can explain what his concerns are. Why she feels the way she does. What he would like to change about the situation. What she think could help make things better. Just listen before you talk.
Once you are ready to respond, try to have a peaceful, constructive and understanding conversation. Avoid any sarcasm, but think “kindness”. What you send out, will come back to you. If you need to go over the rules in the house, talk convincingly, but remain calm.
When your children are angry, sad, frustrated and scream out their emotions, don’t take over and adopt these emotions like their yours. Don’t fire it back on them and try to rationalize their problems like an adult. It doesn’t work for them and neither will it work for you.
Their emotions are not yours, don’t let them fuel you. If a situation occurs that triggers your emotions, you can use an inner mantra and say to yourself “I’m chill” or something else that works for you. You have your own fine, peaceful set of emotions. Keep them maintained. Stay calm, whatever they do that will get you all fired up. If you keep responding in the most calmly manner, you will see a change of behavior very quickly.
Talk and think about a solution that could work for both parties or everyone involved in the argument. Think outside of the box and be creative. From what idea could everyone benefit? Let your children think about it. Come up with a solution where everyone can find themselves in and be satisfied with. This is something you have to practice and grow in.
Keep up your energy level
During the day there are moments when your energy level drops. This is the time when grumpiness and agitation arises quickly, if triggered. Be aware of this and make sure you eat enough healthy foods and drink water throughout the day to keep you energized and balanced. Also regular cardio exercises (like running, tennis, soccer or basketball) keeps you vitalized and inspirit.
Yes, invest in your children. Spend time with your children. Play with them. Do something different or challenging with your kids. Get out of the routine and do something exciting. Talk with them and listen to them. What is keeping them up at night? What are their concerns? What do they love about life and what are their hopes, wishes and dreams? Interact.
A really effective tool to train your calmness is with a mantra meditation. Each morning right after you wake up, sit down, close your eyes and repeat the following mantra with concentration and undivided attention for 10 minutes:
“I am centered and calm in every situation. I always respond with kindness and calmness. I can take a step back if I feel overwhelmed or triggered. I choose my response carefully and delay if necessary. I first listen and then talk. I will try to find a creative solution for everyone”.
This mantra will program your mind for the entire day and you will reap the amazing benefits.
Do you have any good tips? Please share in the comments. I’d love to know.