How to Stay Calm? I am a Parent!

You've probably noticed that things work better with your child when you're in a good mood. At least half of the time when we get irritated, impatient, or frustrated with our kids, it's because we're already feeling unhappy. 

Then there's a spark, our bad mood flares, and before we know it we're in the middle of a firestorm. That's why noticing your own mood as you go through your day, and re-centering yourself when you're out of sorts, transforms your parenting.

The other half of the time our anger is "justified" in the sense that our child acts in ways that trigger us. Naturally, we feel an urgent need to teach a forceful lesson they won't forget! Isn't that how they'll learn?

The short answer is NO

That's not how they learn the most important lessons.  Our job is to nurture and guide, theirs is to grow and learn, but we're partners in growth.  When our kids trigger us, we have an opportunity to teach them the most important lessons. 

Regulating ourselves emotionally. 

Everything seems like an emergency to young children.  But when we stay calm in the face of their upsets, they calm down too. That's the trick, of course.  Most of us are still working on the "staying calm" part. Welcome to being human.

But there’s really no magic to staying centered. It’s just committing yourself, and then practicing. And then forgiving yourself when you fall short, and practicing some more.
So each and every time you find yourself losing it, just STOP, DROP, and BREATHE. 

  • STOP: Close your mouth in mid-sentence, if you have to.
  • DROP: Don't try to resolve the situation until you feel better. Just get everyone out of danger, and then wait until you're calm to teach, or even talk.
  • BREATHE: Deep breathing calms you. You can even do this with your child. ("It's not an emergency....Let's all stay calm here....Let's breathe deeply together ten times and then try a do-over.")

This is what they mean by putting on your own oxygen mask first.

Try a "Do Over." 
1. Connect.  Hug your child.
2. Help your child with the emotions that are driving the "bad" behavior.  Play when you can, help them cry when you have to.
3. Teach. Later, when everything's calm (this could even be the next day) ask for their help to solve a problem or get on with them on some hands on activity. (You could play some games from the Avishkaar Box :)
How can you stay calm? 

There's only ONE way....................
Practice, Practice, Practice.

The bad news is...

This is really hard. Regulating our own emotions is probably the hardest part of parenting. 
The good news is....

Every time you resist acting on your anger and instead restore yourself to calm, it gets easier.  In fact, neurologists say you're actually rewiring your brain to be calmer and more loving. 
The even better news?
You're giving your child a head start on building a calmer, more loving brain right from the start. :)

How to Stay Calm? I am a Parent! How to Stay Calm? I am a Parent! Reviewed by Avishkaar Box on 03:58 Rating: 5

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